The ATO... friend or foe? Getting your Tax right in 2019

| Tuesday February 19

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: 19 February 2019

Let’s be honest, there’s probably not a lot of love out there for the ATO coming from Small Business. Many of us are worried if we get the smallest thing wrong they’ll come down on us like a tonne of bricks.  

There are frighteningly effective ways the ATO is finding and fining those who are deliberately doing it wrong, come 1 July there are some changes you need to be aware of as an employer, but on the other hand there are also loads of ways the ATO supports, assists and educates us.

So let’s have a chat to them. They want to engage better with small businesses and today we have the perfect guest with the inside knowledge. Deborah Jenkins is the Deputy Commissioner for the ATO and joins us to talk about top record keeping tips, getting online, who to ask for help and where to turn to when it all goes wrong.

Welcome to the show Deborah.

Topics we’ll be covering:

  • How small businesses can get the basics right (cash flow, record keeping, tax tips)
    • Good record keeping
    • Using Online portals to make your life easier
    • Keeping up to date means better understanding of your cashflow
  • What can small business do if they are having difficulties
    • Where can you get advice and how the ATO can help
  • Tools and services ATO offer
    • Resources such as ATO Small Business Newsroom newsletters and the Small Business online section is excellent!
  • What about illegal Phoenixing activity?
    • How do you know when you’re getting it REALLY wrong?
    • Why is the ATO cracking down on it?
    • What can the legitimate, honest businesses out there do to let the ATO know about the dodgy guys?
  • We couldn’t talk about the 1Jul2019 without touching on the changes Single Touch Payroll will bring for all employers.
    • Where can small business find out more?

ATO Small business tips - starting the year off well

Take the opportunity to get your business organised for the New Year, and make 2019 the best year yet for your business.

Check your business follows these tips:

  • keep good records, helps you stay organised throughout the year. In addition to meeting your tax obligations, having good records will give you a more accurate picture of your business to help you understand how you are doing. This will give you an opportunity to spot potential problems sooner rather than later.
  • seek advice, we know around 95 per cent of small businesses use a registered tax or BAS agent. Your tax professional can help you prepare and lodge your tax return and also help you to identify areas for improvement, which allows you to focus on running your business.
  • report & lodge online, going digital is the quickest and easiest way to manage your tax and super. Our Business Portal allows you to prepare, lodge and revise activity statements, view your reports for Single Touch Payroll (STP) plus more. If you’re a sole trader, you can manage your tax online using ATO online services, via myGov. This includes lodging your tax return via myTax.
  • keep up to date, subscribe to our Small business newsroom where you can get all the latest tax news delivered straight to your email inbox.

Visit for an overview of resources, tools and services the ATO offer.

To find out more go to their website: Small business newsroom  &

Know the signs of illegal phoenix activity

Illegal phoenix activity is when a new company is created to continue the business of a company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying its debts, including taxes, creditors and employee entitlements.

This activity costs the Australian community up to $5.13 billion per year. The Phoenix Taskforce, a group of 34 state and federal agencies are working together to combat it - so far they’ve returned over $230 million to the community.

The ATO has developed a video to help you Know the signs of illegal phoenix activity and protect yourself. We’d love you to help spread the word and share this video, or some informative factsheets with your networks.

If you suspect phoenix activity, report it on 1800 807 875 or online.