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MEMBER 14 writes:

"Just received one of those letters from the ATO with a list of clients who are supposedly outside the ATO benchmarks. Sorry ATO, you have got it wrong big time. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for each and every variance and it is NOT the cash economy. Most businesses listed have more than one division but guess what, you can only put in one ANZSIC code!!!

The second point is that the year in question was 2010. The ATO should have a look and note that business in 2010 was suffering a delayed fallout from the global financial crisis and in Queensland it had started raining on 10 February 2010 and did not stop all year. That had a MAJOR effect on all outdoor businesses including construction.

Get Real ATO."

MEMBER 15 writes:

"We had a letter from the ATO stating that our practice had a number of clients operating in high risk cash economy industries & then listed a small number who did not conform to the bench marks. How can the ATO collect accurate data when the ANZSIC codes lump a range of services under one code? Look at 85310 - a dental clinic, a Dental Hospital, a Dental Surgeon are all grouped with specialists - Orthodontist, Oral Pathologist, Prosthodontist etc. Is this comparing like with like? Where is the reality of this? How can the published benchmarks be credible? What is the difference between 46100 Delivery Service Road and Courier Service 51020?"

THE TAX INSTITUTE'S TAX COUNSEL STEPHANIE CAREDES COMMENTS: "As Members may already be aware, The Tax Institute is preparing a submission to the Inspector General of Taxation in relation to the benchmarking issue. The Tax Institute welcomes Member feedback in relation to this issue. If you would like to provide any comments on a confidential basis, please email them to TaxPolicy"

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