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How the ATO ‘manages’ parliament – ATO techniques as ‘lawmaker’

Sunday, June 20, 2021

In 2018, high-profile tax lawyer Mark Leibler stated that the ATO effectively makes tax law. He said:

“…for all intents and practical purposes, it’s effectively the (Tax) Commissioner who lays down the law.” “…Commissioner effectively continues to act as lawmaker…”
The accuracy of this statement can be seen, in part, in the way the ATO ‘manages’ its appearances before Parliamentary Committees. More...


ATO relies on ‘gossip’ to manufacture tax debt, defiling the rule of law

Sunday, May 02, 2021

An April 2021 High Court outcome demonstrates that the ATO has chucked the rule of law into the bin. The ATO asserts that it can manufacture a tax debt based on gossip.

Between 2012 and 2015, criminals defrauded the ATO of at least $2.45 billion in GST in the ‘gold scam’. In happened arguably because of ATO incompetence. We’ve explained this before.  More...


ATO Mongrel Bunch of Bastards Continues—Morrison Needs to Act

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Today we release details of continuing abuse of small business by the ATO.

You may remember that in 2018 we were heavily involved in the production of the ABC 4 Corners program Mongrel Bunch of Bastards. The program exposed the gross abuse of small business people by the ATO. Since then we have campaigned hard for reform to the ATO’s audit and enforcement division, which is where the problems exist.

This time, in our view, the abuse looks like a massive ATO cover-up of the largest tax scandal in Australia’s history. Surely not, we ask? More...


BIG change must happen to ATO says government report

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

The Federal government’s small business agency, the Small Business Ombudsman, has called for major changes to the way the Australian Taxation Office operates. The Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, says “… the time is right for Government to deliver a [tax administration] system that suits the small business sector…”

We totally agree. The ATO’s approach to small business is bullying, unfair and oppressive. We’ve been highlighting this since around 2012 and have been calling for major change. See our 20-minute videoMore...


ATO abusing its powers – manipulating the law to abuse people

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Our campaign to reform the ATO continues. Good grief it’s an exhausting process! But the ATO keeps demonstrating why the reform is needed because the ATO keeps behaving badly.

Today we’re highlighting another case of ATO bad behaviour.

Many small businesses are structured as trusts. Most are family trusts. The ‘beneficiaries’ of such trusts are typically family members. A trust can distribute profits to the beneficiaries who then pay the tax.  More...


Covid and the oppression of government regulation and regulators

Monday, January 18, 2021

As we look to 2021 to be a better year than 2020, perhaps one of the shocks of Covid-19 has been how quickly our freedoms and liberty have been crushed under the weight of health dictates. It’s been done for our own good—that is, to keep us all safe from a silent, unseen enemy killer.

With luck, we will emerge from the Covid crisis this year with freedoms being returned. One fear, however, is that once governments, whether of left or right persuasion, taste the seductive power of authoritarianism, they become addictively hooked. There’s nothing some bureaucrats love more than the scent of their own power first thing in the morning. More...


A gold-lined ATO stuff-up blows up in the ATO’s face

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Here’s an ATO story that might interest you.

On Friday last, 6 November, the Australian Taxation Office had a serious legal bomb blow up in its face. It’s so serious that the full bench of the Federal Court has put a ten-day embargo on the publication of the judgment that went against the ATO. We can only guess why. However, the case, the facts and the implications are known. More...


Reforming the ATO – An economic recovery agenda

Thursday, October 29, 2020

At Self-Employed Australia we’ve been campaigning for a heck of a long time for reform of the ATO in the way it handles disputes—particularly with small business people. In the economic recovery from Covid, reform of the ATO must assume high importance.

Fair treatment of taxpayers is essential and this is not occurring if you find yourself in dispute with the ATO. The tax administration laws and the tax system are ‘stacked’ to enable the ATO to abuse its powers. This is bad for society and the economy.  More...


JobKeeper and JobSeeker Extension Information

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Last week (22 July) the Morrison government announced that JobKeeper and JobSeeker are being extended past the current cut-off of at the end of September. But there are changes to eligibility and the amounts being paid.

We’ve waited a week to produce this update to check some details with the ATO. Be aware that the legislation for the extension has not passed Parliament, so our summary below is the best information available at the moment. More...


On Time Payments. Top priority for small business

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Senate is currently considering a Bill that will require large businesses to report their payments to small business suppliers. Being paid on time is a top priority for all self-employed small business people.

We gave evidence to the Senate last week (8 July) and made the following points.

We expect the Morrison government to fully implement its election promise on pay-on-time issues. This is a three-phase promise it made, namely: More...



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