Small business body backs ATO in pursuit of scammers

THE Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) has announced it will support the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Federal Government in pursuit of people and organisations "that deliberately scam the tax system".

Speaking on behalf of COSBOA, CEO Peter Strong said the release of the tax gap for small business (12.5 percent) and stated that small business people need complexity removed for better tax compliance.

“Small business people make up more than 99 percent of Australian businesses, pay more than $76 billion in income tax annually, add $380 billion to the economy and provide an income to around five million people, but it’s the few that do the wrong thing who get an unfair advantage in competition and let down the rest of their industry and the small business sector," COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said.

"As a member of the Black Economy Board, we work closely with all government agencies to help catch the bad people while ensuring the honest people, the great majority, are given a less complicated system and the capacity to run a successful business that provides opportunity for revenue for other people,” Mr Strong said. 

A member of COSBOA, The Australian Hairdressing Council, is a good example of an organisation that works closely with the ATO and the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure home-based hairdressers comply with rules and contribute to their industry, Mr Strong said. He said COSBOA recognised that the majority of hairdressers "do the right thing and are often angry at having to compete with those who rip off the taxpayer".

“There are many things that make business more difficult than it needs to be," Mr Strong said. "Recently, we have seen a report that wants to punish small business people who don’t deal with mental health to the level of a qualified mental health practitioner, and yet the same report ignores the mental health of the self-employed. All unnecessary and poorly developed compliance adds to the stress of running a business and employing staff.

“Our National Small Business Summit later this week in Melbourne will focus on real issues with our regulators, our policy makers and our business leaders in attendance. Australia has a good record globally when it comes to compliance and we can improve that record by reducing complexity,” Mr Strong said.

COSBOA and its members will work with the government to make the tax system less complicated and less onerous for the great majority who want to do the right thing, he affirmed.
COSBOA National Small Business Summit information:

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