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ATO Audits – are you ready?

The ATO has increased its audit activity, and JobKeeper and other COVID-19 payments are now on the ATO’s hit list. Professional help during an ATO audit is a must to minimize the time and financial cost.

ATO audit can contact you at any time, and now with JobKeeper, early release of super and COVID-19 cashflow boost payments, the ATO is looking at many more businesses for review.

The ATO undertakes a risk review as an initial step. This helps them identify potential compliance issues that may justify a full audit. Often the initial review allows problems to be resolved swiftly and easily without a complete detailed audit.

If an audit is commenced,  it is conducted in several stages. First, an initial meeting with ATO agents and the business owner. At times the ATO will release an interim report before the final report. This allows a business owner to consider their position and provide further details. Audits can take a few months and up to 18 months to conclude.

A number of different types of audits can be initiated. These include record keeping, income tax, data comparison, cash, and hidden economy, and superannuation guarantee audits.

What can you Expect

  • If you use the services of a registered tax or BAS agent, the ATO will firstly contact them, and the ATO will assign a case officer.
  • An initial interview or questionnaire provides the ATO with some preliminary information and provides the business owner with an opportunity for voluntary disclosure that can reduce penalties.
  • Next will come the investigation of the business record by the ATO.
  • Personal records may be requested, particularly if the ATO is looking for undeclared cash income.
  • With JobKeeper and COVID-19 audits, the ATO will review calculations of turnover and employee nomination forms.
  • The ATO generally takes a collaborative approach. Always be composed and professional when dealing with the case officer.

If you have been contacted by the ATO directly, please contact us about helping you through the procedure to ease your stress.

If you are not in the ATO firing line, we can help organise your records and your systems to reduce the impact of any future ATO review on your business