Small business owners who have experienced heavy-handed tactics by the Australian Taxation Office are advised to urgently contact the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprises Ombudsman (ASBFEO).
The call to action comes following damning media reports of the ATO killing off businesses in the pursuit of revenue.
ASBFE Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, has requested an inquiry into allegations raised in a joint investigation by Fairfax and Four Corners.
“Under the direction of Treasury, my office and the Inspector-General of Taxation, Ali Noroozi, will examine cases of unfair conduct by the ATO,” O’Dwyer says.
“Our timeframes on this inquiry are extremely tight, so it’s important small business owners tell us their story as a matter of urgency – within the next week or two.
“My office is interested in examples where the ATO has targeted small businesses unfairly and the business owner has been affected financially.
“According to the ATO’s latest annual report, there are 3.8 million small business taxpayers, including sole traders, in the tax system. The Inspector-General says in roughly five per cent of cases, the ATO gets it wrong … which on the face of it is way too many.
“We want to gain a better understanding of how the ATO is adversely interacting with small businesses so we can provide government with constructive and realistic advice.”
With complete anonymity assured, small business owners can explain their situation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have raised your concerns with ATO and the Inspector-General and your matter has not been resolved, please contact the ASBFEO by emailing email@example.com.
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