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01 Apr 11 On SMEs' losses and the global downturn

MEMBER 51 writes:

"The ATO proposes to focus on SMEs with revenue losses in the 2009 and 2008 financial years. Ostensibly, the ATO has noticed an increase in SME losses during those years, and is concerned about the effect on the revenue (now there's a sign of intelligence! - there is life on Mars!).

Whilst the economic downturn was not a natural disaster, it was nonetheless a disaster with dramatic effect, particularly on SMEs. We manage the tax affairs of a number of these entities, and I can assure the ATO that those of our clients who fall into this category of 'risk to the revenue' are more interested in remedying the effect of the disaster on their business concerns. Why generally target those feeling the financial effect of this man-made disaster? They certainly won't appreciate (and can least afford) the additional compliance costs.

Are we still living in that regulatory vacuum of - 'we know they're cheating, we just have to figure out how?'"


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