ATO pledges to work closer with small business

by 10 Dec 2013
The tax office has vowed it will work closely with small business to make it easier to comply with their tax obligations.

In an address to regional business owners second commissioner Geoff Leeper said the ATO is committed to reducing regulations that impact small business owners.

““We are working across government to reduce red tape to let you get on with the important job of running your small business,” said Leeper.

““The ATO wants to work with small businesses to solve problems and devise strategies that make it easier for them to comply with their tax and super obligations.”

Some key areas of improvement include pre-filled income tax returns and online lodgements to reduce paperwork and offer “a more tailored tax experience”.

The ATO also promised to appoint senior regional liaison officers to better connect with regional communities, said Leeper.

Chair of Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce Phil Clements welcomed the opportunity for greater interaction with the ATO.

“Red tape and compliance issues place an extraordinary burden on small business, often to the point where business owners consider whether it is worthwhile keeping their doors open.”

Meanwhile the government has launched a new helpline that gives small business owners priority service.

Minister for employment, Senator Eric Abetz and the minister for small business, Bruce Billson joined the Fair Work Ombudsman to launch the service.

“We said before the election we would restore confidence in the sector, encourage growth, drive employment and innovation and this delivers on the Coalition’s Policy “to Improve the Fair Work Laws,” they said in a statement.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman will assist small business people  by reducing waiting time, educating and assisting the sector to comply with workplace laws and reduce the stress on small business owners.

Small businesses are the economic life blood of communities and this step is part of a wider program to better support and increase the productivity of small businesses.

Employers can call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 between 8am and 5.30pm weekdays to obtain free advice and assistance from a team of expert advisers