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Contractors v employees - Under the ATO spotlight


Although the topic of the legal and taxation status of the independent contractor is not new, and has not been subject to dramatic recent change, there are various factors at work which suggest that substantial change is coming. These factors include the growth of the contractor in economic importance, and increasing attention to the status of contractors by government, the Treasury, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and the union movement.

This article examines the complexities of the present system, the new building and construction industry reporting regime and the likely uses to which the data reported will be put, self-help options for principal contractors, and the personal services income regime. The article ends with an examination of relevant parts of the ATO’s compliance program. The author notes that the Commissioner appears to have extrapolated from the entrenched issues
perceived in the building and construction industry to contractors more generally. A more general examination of contractors seems likely.

Author profile

Jolyon Dare CTA
Jol is a Tax Partner of HLB Mann Judd (NSW) where he specialises in helping corporate and SME clients and their advisors. Jol has significant experience in SME restructuring, practically assisting small businesses to manage their tax risk and opportunity, and realise their highest value at sale. Jol is a regular presenter for The Tax Institute's Morning Tax Club and NSW Tax Forum. - Current at 10 March 2017
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