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ATO now targeting wealthy private groups

They’re out there, you know. Risks. Well, of course you know that. You don’t build the wealth you have without an understanding of risk. And being a good judge of it. Perhaps even a great one.  But judgement without information is no better than guesswork. Do you know all the tax risks amongst your affairs? If not, the ATO might soon discover them for you. ​

Targeted group for review

After a hiatus due to COVID-19 priorities this year, the ATO has announced that they are getting back to taxpayer reviews.  And their next targeted group of taxpayers is private groups and individuals with a net worth over $50 million.  The ATO’s data-compiling capabilities should not be underestimated.  Whether your wealth is held personally or through companies and trusts you control, if you are in this targeted group, there’s a good chance the ATO knows.

Review issues

If you are selected for a review, it will start with a questionnaire.  Broadly, the ATO will be looking for confidence that:

  • You have paid the right amount of tax
  • There are no tax risks they might need to follow up on

Gauging confidence in the above is ascertained through examining things like the following:

  • Your group structure
  • Whether any misalignment between your accounting and tax results is explainable and appropriate
  • The right amount of tax on profit from Australia-linked business is being recognised in Australia
  • Your tax governance and risk management
  • Transactions, acquisitions and disposals
  • Tax risks identified from public information

In addition to the day-to-day qualify of your systems in managing your tax affairs, significant transactions, events and activities in recent years are of particular interest.

Get there first, be prepared

As noted above, if there are tax risks in your affairs of which you are unaware, the ATO might discover them for you.  Better if you did first.  A prudential tax review is like having yourself audited.  If there are any tax risks lurking within your group, better to be aware in advance than the ATO slap them down in front of you.  Advance awareness gives you greater freedom to decide what to do.  It’s the information that turns guesswork into judgement.

Next steps

Talk to Sarah McEachern or your trusted Nexia Edwards Marshall NT Advisor about a prudential tax review. Our goal in undertaking one is to help you sleep well at night.

The material contained in this publication is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice or recommendation from Nexia Edwards Marshall NT. Regarding any situation or circumstance, specific professional advice should be sought on any particular matter by contacting your Nexia Edwards Marshall NT Adviser.

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