Budget heralds wave of ATO crackdowns, says mid-tier
A mid-tier accounting practice has labelled the lack of tax changes in the budget “unusual”, predicting a crackdown on corporations and individuals who utilise aggressive tax minimisation schemes.
Speaking at BDO’s budget dinner, tax partner Marcus Leonard noted that Treasurer Scott Morrison failed to mention any new tax changes, but instead focused on integrity measures to recover tax liabilities.
“What came out to me on tax changes was not changing rates, but focusing on those tax structures that they want to attack,” Mr Leonard said.
“They’ve obviously given money to the tax office to look for more personnel to do that and I think that’s where Scott Morrison thinks he’s going to get his $4 billion next year from amended assessments, not new taxes.”
Pointing to the amendment of the small business CGT concession that will take effect on 1 July, Mr Leonard said it is not a concession change but an integrity measure brought in to prevent certain taxpayers from receiving concessions they do not qualify for.
Mr Leonard also noted that ATO commissioner Chris Jordan is sharpening his sword to tackle tax avoidance schemes.
“Having been to a recent dinner with Chris Jordan and his deputy commissioners, I sat around the table and I knew every single one of his deputy commissioners because they had to be formerly partners of tax practices,” he said.
“So obviously what his thoughts are to go and hire more people who are in the tax profession, who know what to look for, ask the right questions and basically get people who avoid these taxes with very aggressive tax minimisation schemes.”