If you are a Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SME) who suffered a loss for the first time in 2010, expect a phone call from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
At a time when SME’s are fighting for survival and doing their upmost to counter the global economic down turn, the tax office will be telephoning you to justify your business results.
An announcement on the 29th February 2012 indicated that the reason for the contact would be to “help us understand the losses, provide guidance in ensuring that you understand your tax obligations regarding your entitlement to tax losses in the future, and encourage voluntary compliance through increased awareness of the rules”.
The ATO announcement is undoubtedly due to pressure from Treasury to help plug the looming Federal budget deficit, but SME’s already have a substantial burden just to survive, maintain its employment resource and meet existing compliance obligations.
If you are one of the unfortunates who suffered a loss in 2010, be ready with your response, which may even be “my point of contact for discussions with Australian Taxation Office is my Tax Agent”. Don’t forget to insist on proof of identity before talking to anyone who alleges to be from the ATO– it can always just simply be a scam. And probably safer to ask for any request for information to be put to you in writing.