Insights | 15 Dec 2023

Are you paying the right tax?

Do you know how many tax assurance review programs the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has in place at any given time? 10? 20? 100? More?

Whatever the number, businesses should take note of the recent findings by the ATO, as even the largest public and multinational groups are being caught out by the growing number of review programs in play.  While you would expect this group of entities to have the most stringent of governance systems and processes in place, and likely the highest investment in governance measures, many of them are not paying the right amount of tax.

This was one of the findings of the recently released ATO report relating to the Top 1,000 combined assurance program, which is part of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce.

The objective of the Top 1,000 combined assurance program is to increase the ATO’s assurance that large public and multinational groups and APRA regulated superannuation funds are reporting the right amount of income tax and GST.

The latest report provides the ATO’s observations and insights from the reviews undertaken in the year to 30 June 2023, including those relating to income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Through these reviews, the ATO obtained high assurance that only 24% of taxpayers have paid the right amount of income tax for the years reviewed. The ATO continues to escalate cases for further review or audit due to specific concerns with identified positions, with 13% of reviews in 2023 being escalated.

Additionally, based on the outcomes of their GST reviews, the ATO has obtained high assurance that only 31% of taxpayers have paid the right amount of GST for the tax years reviewed. Approximately 4% of taxpayers reviewed in 2023 were escalated for further ATO action through a specific review or audit.

Contact Pilot

If you would like to review your governance systems and measures to ensure you have your tax compliance covered, contact your Pilot advisor on (07) 3023 1300.

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