13 March 2021
While the ATO has lately been focusing on the rollout of stimulus measures, it has also flagged that audit work is not off the table completely.
In late July, when the ATO fronted a parliamentary Senate Select Committee on COVID-19, its representative said plans were to start tax audits sometime between September and October 2020. Time and efforts however were diverted to the rollout of the JobKeeper scheme and other stimulus measures, with the ATO sourcing staff for this work by redeploying people from initiating audits, saying it had been a “conscious choice” not to initiate new audits during the peak of the pandemic.
But that, as they say in the classics, was then — and this is now. The takeaway for everyone is that audits will not go away, and will come at some point, so taxpayers and SMSF trustees need to have their affairs in order.