Soldiers, plumbers and coffee shop owners, beware

by Mackenzie McCarty10 Aug 2012

Accountants are warning that the ATO is zeroing in on a few unlucky professions as part of an increasingly efficient compliance crackdown.

Soldiers, plumbers, information technology managers and small coffee shop proprietors are all among those under the microscope as part of the ATO's 2012–13 Compliance Program.

CPA Australia says this year's program will focus on occupations which generate high numbers of work-related claims, wealthy individuals and businesses with high numbers of cash transactions, including coffee shops and plasterers.

Micro-enterprises – or those with an annual turnover of less than $2m – will also face scrutiny.

"The ATO's 2012–13 compliance program should serve as a timely prompt for individuals and businesses to get their affairs in order and ensure they receive what they're entitled to," CPA Australia's Paul Drum said.

"There is a public expectation that the ATO collects the revenue in accordance with tax law. The sophistication of new technologies and the increasing refinement of its techniques enable the ATO to be even more vigilant in carrying out this role. For example, this year it expects to data match more than 600 million transactions."

Targeted professions: Who is under the microscope?

  • Individuals: soldiers, plumbers and IT professionals will come in for particular attention due to a high number of work-related claims
  • Micro-enterprises: focused on volume of raw material supplies versus sales
  • Superannuation guarantee and pay-as-you-go compliance
  • High-wealth Individuals: A focus on high-earning individuals, including medical practitioners, particularly where they have used a range of financial products
  • Family trusts and private companies
  • Project Wickenby: Continued clamping down on the use of tax havens
  • Identity fraud