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ATO Executive ‘Not Guilty’– Credible evidence that ATO audits are ‘wrong’

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Last week top ex-ATO official Michael Cranston was found not guilty of misusing his position to benefit his son who is on separate charges of alleged tax fraud.

In his defence Mr Cranston said that the actions he took in relation to his son were no more than what he had done for other taxpayers on hundreds of occasions. That is, that tax audits were often so bad that he had to intervene to stop injustice against taxpayers.  More...


Thank goodness. Morrison Government is DOING, rather than just promising, ATO reform

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Usually, in the lead-up to elections, governments make all sort of promises in the hope that this will give them favour with the electorate. But we’re delighted to report that with small business tax reform the Morrison government is delivering, not simply talking.

Today the government announced that the Small Business Tax Tribunal will start up on the 1 March 2019—just two weeks away. This is huge. We continue to see bad ATO small business audits and an ATO incapable of quickly fixing glaring audit errors. It’s an audit system of considerable incompetence, with small business people the victims.  More...


China and the ATO – Dictatorship vs the Rule of Law

Friday, February 01, 2019

Yes, we have focused heavily on seeking reform of the Australian Taxation Office in recent times. But the issue is not simply about tax revenue. It’s much bigger. It’s about the rule of law. In this longer-than-normal communication we explain what motivates us by drawing some parallels between China and the ATO.  More...


Labor takes bold move on unfair contracts

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bill Shorten’s Labor has announced that it will make unfair contract terms illegal and impose major fines for breaches. This is a position that we totally endorse.

Unfair contract laws protecting small business people were created in November 2015. Big businesses had 12 months to fix their contracts before the laws took effect. But big businesses did nothing. The ACCC has worked hard to enforce the laws but the task is huge when large businesses won’t voluntarily comply. (Idiots! Big business, that is!)  More...


ATO refuses internal corruption probe. Anti-Corruption Commission needed

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This week ex-Deputy ATO Commissioner Michael Cranston arrived at court for the start of his trial for allegedly using his office with the intention of dishonestly obtaining a benefit for his son.  Cranston was the top tax official in charge of high-wealth individuals. His trial forms a backdrop to questions about the integrity of the Australian Taxation Office.

We’ve raised questions as to whether the ATO suffers from internal corruption. In September last year we released a major report on a special deal handed to high-wealth individuals in 2013. The deal was organised by then-Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston, with a loss of tax revenue estimated as high as $4.3 billion. There are calls for a high level inquiryMore...


Here’s some really interesting (not?) holiday reading

Monday, January 07, 2019

We trust the Xmas pudding and New Year champers have worked through your system and you now feel suitably relaxed as the new business year slowly winds back up.

If you’re after some ‘exciting’ tax reading (yawn!), we had bit of a flurry of submissions we needed to get to the government and parliament before Christmas. Here are a couple of them. More...


Criminal justice vs Tax Justice. Are the two the same?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In what would seem a rather startling revelation in The Australian yesterday, Robert Gottliebsen comments that, pending an explanation, in his view

“…as it now stands, there is one law for the alleged criminals and another for law-abiding, taxpaying people.”
He asks how this is possible and says:
“One explanation is that the ATO is completely above the law and not subject to any laws that elected politicians may choose to pass.”
 More...


HUGE breakthrough for small business – ATO reform

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Late last night the news broke of the Morrison government’s decision to create a Small Business Tax Tribunal. Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian has scooped the story.

We launched a campaign in February last year for a Small Business Tax Tribunal. Obviously, we are hugely pleased to see the Morrison government take this initiative for fair treatment of small businesses.  More...


It’s chaotic in Canberra, but ….

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Yes, well it’s pretty obvious that the political system is in chaos. But despite the turmoil we thought we’d give you some updates on a few more sane things (from our perspective) that are coming through.

Free legal advice in ATO disputes
The Labor opposition is talking of funding free legal advice on tax matters to low-income taxpayers if they win government. It’s further recognition by Labor of the unequal power relationship between small business people and the ATO.  More...


Will the ATO be included under the powers of an anti-corruption commission?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The ABC reports that a Federal anti-corruption commission is looking increasingly likely. This five-minute ABC television clip explains that:

and
  • The Federal government is apparently considering an anti-corruption commission.
But here’s a question. Will an anti-corruption commission be able to investigate the Australian Taxation Office? Would the ATO fight hard to be excluded? More...



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