ATO cash economy

Continued focus on the cash economy

ATO Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt has announced that, in the 2019/20 financial year, the ATO will be visiting a further 10,000 small businesses across the country.

He further said that businesses that advertise as ‘cash only’ and businesses that are operating outside of the ATO’s performance benchmarks for their industry will be especially targeted for a visit from the ATO.

“Businesses that pay cash in hand, or fail to lodge income tax or business activity statements, get an unfair advantage and make it harder for other businesses who are doing the right thing. By detecting and addressing this behaviour, we’re helping ensure a level playing field for honest small businesses.”

Businesses in the following industries are most likely to get a visit from the ATO:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Vehicle repairers
  • Personal care businesses including hairdressers and nail salons
  • Pharmacies
  • Construction businesses
  • Clothing stores
  • Grocery stores / small supermarkets, and
  • Butchers

Whilst on the road, ATO officers will also be available to help those businesses that are trying to do the right thing.

Mr Holt said the ATO will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against those deliberately avoiding their tax and super obligations and the visits may uncover this deliberate non-compliance.

If businesses know they have made mistakes the ATO encourages them to work with a tax professional to liaise and work through any issues with the Tax Office.

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