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Black Economy 2020 Update

The ATO continues visiting small businesses around Australia to crack down on black economy activities.  Tasmania was the target during October and November where the ATO visited around 300 small businesses in Hobart following tip-offs received by the Tax Integrity Centre from people of the area.  The ATO has, in fact, revealed that it receives a staggering amount of 230 tip-offs per day.

As mentioned in previous ATO updates, there are some businesses such as retails, restaurants, coffee shops, beauty salons, etc. that are more likely to receive a visit from the ATO than others. With the advance in technology it seems much easier now to identify businesses that operate outside the regulatory framework.

The ATO looks for hints of the black economy such as not declaring all the sales, inflating their expenses, off-books cash wages, not being registered or failing to declare their withholding tax, GST and super obligations.

These are just a few examples of the ramifications of black economy, which in the first instance, directly affects the worker, but its consequences inevitably extend to the community.

We cannot minimise these activities as they can lead to a dangerous behaviour of cultural normalisation of such practices in our society. It is paramount that the ATO continues chasing these activities down and target those business owners that gain an unfair advantage at the expense of those who do the right thing. Please don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Business and tax specialists if you have any concerns or questions.

– Article by Gabriela Minervini


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