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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...


Budget stimulus for self-employed, small business people

Thursday, October 08, 2020

We’ve tried to pick out the key things from the massive Morrison government Covid-19 business recovery package. These are the things that seem most relevant for self-employed, small business people.

Below is our summary and links to key ATO information. Check with your accountant for application to your personal situation.  More...


ATO audit division goes for JobKeeper jugular again! Trashing the ATO’s reputation

Monday, July 06, 2020

Last week, we reported the release by the ATO of threats to treat people who’ve accessed JobKeeper (and other programs) of being tax fraudsters. The problem, we say, is the ability of the ATO’s auditors to apply their ‘view’ as to fraud, which then becomes ‘fact’ at law, subject to prosecution. And the only effective appeal is to the ATO itself!!  More...


The ATO’s coming to get you! You’re a Covid-19 fraudster they say

Monday, June 29, 2020

We can’t believe that, for all the great work the ATO has done with implementing the Covid-19 support packages, it's decided to blow up that good work.

Last week (23 June) the ATO released a statement ‘ATO zeroes in on COVID-19 fraud’. The ATO has declared that it reckons lots of Australians are committing fraud in applying for Covid-19 support (JobKeeper, Cash Flow Boost, early release of super, etc.) But look at what they are targeting. More...



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