Preparing your small business for EOFY with Justine Williams, Assistant Commissioner at ATO

| Tuesday June 4

Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services
Date: 4 June 2019

The end of financial year is looming for small business. But it doesn't have to be a burden for you and your workload. There are relatively simple checklists to follow from the ATO, great videos & videos in the small business newsroom and of course, support on hand from your trusted BAS Agent and Accountant.

But what about if you’ve not been great with staying up to date, and are a little bit lost with what’s required at this time of year?

If you keep good records and your accounts are up to date then the end of financial year shouldn’t be stressful. On the other hand if you find yourself behind with these aspects of your business the ATO is actually there to help too. Today we welcome to Small Biz Matters Justine Williams, the Assistant Commissioner with the ATO to chat about what you need to have in place to take the stress away from completing your own end of financial year checklist.

Welcome to the show Justine.


Topics we’ll be covering:

  • What does the ATO require from small business in terms of evidence (paperwork), receipts, payment summaries etc


    • Soft copies vs hard copies
    • What happens if I don’t have an online software system?


Is a bank statement enough (apparently this is a big conversation among agents)

–   Records that you keep need to have enough information to support the amounts that you need to report and claim. A bank or credit card statement won’t always provide as much detail as is needed to claim an expense, so keep all the tax invoices or receipts associated with it. A statement can be supporting evidence but it’s usually not descriptive enough on its own, and isn’t enough for GST purposes. 

  • What does the term "self assessment" mean with regards to the relationship between ATO and a business?


    • Why is this a requirement for small business?
    • How much trouble can I get in, if I self assess incorrectly?
  • How have things changed in recent years (no longer producing documentation with tax affairs, accountants can access a lot of this without the client having to search for it - prefilling, STP)
    • What can my accountant access and with this data and why do I need to keep records if my accountant and the ATO can see everything?


      • Good record keeping for being up
      • Benchmarks - you need data to compare to others in your industry
      • Succession planning needs data
      • Mental health & good habits
    • STP -  why the change to reporting of payroll to the ATO? How will it actually make my life easier each EOFY?
  • What are the important deadlines around EOFY which small businesses need to be aware of
    • Payment summaries to employees & ATO (this won’t happen next year!)
    • June BAS deadline
    • TPAR - the growing list, the success
    • How working with a BAS agent and is helpful with these deadlines
  • Discussion on mental health & how the ATO has evolved its policies on this "I'm very behind in my tax and fearful of what the ATO will do. How can I handle this?"
    • Get on the front foot!
    • New approach & training from staff when answering queries on the front line
      • Working with beyond blue’s support network
    • What sort of evidence do I need to prove I need help

Mental health – what evidence do you need when you speak to us

–   Everyone and every situation is different, which is why it’s best to call us early, tell us your situation. Then we can work with you to work out the best option for you and what you need to show to us. We may be able to help you organise payment plan, defer a lodgment or payment, or fast track your tax return.


To find out more go to the ATO website:

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BIO Justine Williams, Assistant Commissioner – Australian Taxation Office.

Justine currently leads the ATO’s Small Business Client Experience stream.

Justine’s role involves working closely with small business people and their advocates, industry groups and other government agencies to co-design services that help small businesses manage their tax and superannuation obligations. Justine’s role is diverse and sees her engaging regularly with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Department of Jobs and Small Business and the state Small Business Commissioners. She leads teams responsible for delivering on-line services for small business, the Cash-flow Coaching Kit and the Small Business Newsroom.

After beginning her career in the banking industry, Justine commenced in the ATO in 2000. Since then she has held senior roles spanning prosecutions, risk management, strategy development, IT project management and client service.

Justine is passionate about delivering client-focused solutions and people-centred change management.