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Australian Federal Budget 2019-2020: Tax Compliance

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This article was written by Karen McDonald and Hayley Johnson

ABN

Black economy behaviour continues to be targeted by the Government, with new measures announced to strengthen the Australian Business Number (ABN) system. The measures make ABN holders more accountable for meeting their lodgement obligations while minimising the regulatory impact on businesses. Under these measures:

  • from 1 July 2021, ABN holders with an income tax return obligation may not be able to retain their ABN if they fail to lodge their income tax return; and
  • from 1 July 2022, ABN holders may not be able to retain their ABN if they fail to confirm the accuracy of their details on the Australian Business Register annually.

ATO Task Force

The Government will commit $1 billion over the next 4 years to the Australian Taxation Office's Tax Avoidance Taskforce. The Taskforce, established in 2016, targets avoidance behaviour by large businesses and wealthy individuals. This additional funding will assist the Taskforce to:

  • expand its compliance activities in relation to multinationals, large public and private groups, trusts and high wealth individuals; and
  • increase scrutiny of specialist tax advisors and intermediaries that promote tax avoidance schemes and strategies.

Tax Administration Compliance

The Government has announced that $42.1 million will be provided to the ATO over the next four years to increase its ability to recover unpaid superannuation and taxes. In particular, the measure will target larger businesses and high wealth individuals, whilst small businesses will be exempt.

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