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ATO’s ‘Justified Trust Initiative’ – Do you need to be worried?

The agenda? – To shape and preserve the Australian community’s confidence that taxpayers are indeed paying the correct amount of tax. With this in mind, the ATO recently introduced its Justified Trust Initiative and its already leaving its mark on businesses in WA!

Did you know that if you are a company director you have a special responsibility of ensuring that your company’s tax compliance procedures are working smoothly?

Did you also know that the ATO may meticulously go over these controls (procedures) to assure themselves that your company is remitting and declaring the correct amount of tax? If you are found wanting, the consequences could range from fines & penalties to, in the worst of cases, jail time.

While this article is predominantly aimed towards larger companies, it is always good, even as a small business owner, to be aware and mindful of the recent methods and devices being adopted by the regulatory body.

Here are 4 tips to help keep you safe from being caught in the red:

  1. This may sound so simple but, pay and account for the right amount of taxes to the ATO. This is the first step towards avoiding the piercing gaze of the tax man. Fortuna can help you here, using our tax experience and expertise to help you stay clear of hefty tax fines.
  2. Confirm that your accountant has applied tax positions for your business that are aligned with the tax risk appetite that has been endorsed under your respective tax risk governance policy.
  3. Ensure the necessary systems, controls and processes are in place to guarantee that your tax advice is booked correctly and reliably.
  4. Have an effective and transparent relationship with tax authorities.

With the tax landscape for businesses in Australia transforming rapidly, it is imperative that as a business owner/director, you are aware of how changes, particularly regarding the ATO’s approach, requirements and technology are likely to affect you so as to prepare for them accordingly. It is also always a good idea to have a good team on your side as well, fending off some unforeseen risks and exercising financial care and skill on your behalf.

(Source: Wolterskluwer)

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