The ATO is targeting small businesses in a clamp down on the cash economy according to media reports over the weekend and today.
Using a range of tools and benchmarks, the ATO plans to make the point that those ripping cash out undetected will be detected.
In the 1990s newsagents were in target of the ATO because of a reported systematic approach to under reporting tax. There was a meeting at the ATO office in Box Hill where AFP, SRO, ATO and other government departments were represented in an investigation of the systematic approach. While nothing public came of that meeting, the activity engaged in appeared to disappear for a time. That’s what happens when there is public awareness around an investigation.
I was not a target of the 1990s investigation. My involvement was to bring people to the room who could explain how other software could be used to commit tax fraud.
If you take cash out of your business be aware that the ATO has a range of means through which to detect this. The likelihood of being caught is greater today than in the 1990s.