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The ATO focus on the cash economy

postlogo21 July 2015 | postlogo No Comments | postlogoPosted by

The Australian Taxation Office (‘ATO’) is continuing to maintain a focus on businesses which are paid cash because of concerns that these businesses are not reporting or under-reporting their income and net GST liabilities.

Target industries

The ATO have previously indicated that the high risk industry groups include:

  1. restaurants and cafes;
  2. cleaning and waste services;
  3. road freight;
  4. carpentry, electrical, painting and plumbing businesses;
  5. building trades;
  6. hair, beauty and nail businesses.

The ATO are using data-matching to identify businesses and they identified in early 2015 that 275,000 businesses which may be under-reporting income.

ATO audits

The ATO are undertaking audits and using industry benchmarks to assess taxpayers for additional income and GST liabilities resulting in:

  1. large amended assessments for GST and income tax;
  2. penalties as high as 95% for any shortfalls in GST and income tax;
  3. interest

What can I do if I receive an amended assessment?

If you receive an amended assessment for GST and/or income tax, you are entitled to lodge an objection to the amended assessment. The objection must set out all the relevant facts and law concerning why you consider that the assessment is incorrect.

Business owners need to ensure that they maintain their tax and accounting records so that they can substantiate the sources of income and any business deductions which are being claimed.

Our team of experts can provide you with advice and assistance with the matters related to Cash Economy. Call Robson Hayes Legal on (08) 9322 2256 or email us at to discuss your problems with us. For more information you can also visit

Contact The ATO focus on the cash economy

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