Business & Finance |

ATO tackling the black economy in Cranbourne

ATO tackling the black economy in Cranbourne

The ATO will be in Cranbourne on Tuesday February 19th providing guidance to legitimate small businesses and to identify those deliberately avoiding paying tax and super.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt said the ATO is helping those that are trying to do the right thing, but we will take strong enforcement action against those deliberately avoiding tax and super.

“Businesses that pay cash in hand, or forget to lodge income tax or BAS statements, or don’t pay their employees super, get an unfair advantage and make it harder for other businesses. By detecting and addressing this behaviour, we can ensure a level playing field for honest small businesses.”

The ATO is inviting all local businesses and tax professionals to a one-hour information session at Cranbourne Racecourse that will explain the purpose of our visits and how to avoid common mistakes. There will also be a one-hour ‘Introduction to business records’ session for businesses that need some help.

“One of the most common mistakes we see is small businesses failing to keep appropriate records. We want small businesses to know that you don’t need to be concerned by our visits, if you aren’t getting it right – if you need support, we are willing to help,” Mr Holt said.

“After the information sessions, we will be visiting local businesses one on one. The visits can help us identify who needs extra support to make it easier for them to comply. However, the visits also help us identify where businesses are not doing the right thing and getting an unfair advantage. If we see this behaviour, we will follow up. All businesses should get a fair go.”

“If businesses know they have made mistakes, we encourage them to let us know and work with us or their tax professional.”

The ATO investigates whenever they are concerned that a business is deliberately doing the wrong thing.

“We get tip-offs from the local community about those not doing the right thing. The community as a whole is concerned and wants those who try to seek an unfair advantage to be held accountable,” Mr Holt said.

“We want to help Australian businesses get their tax and super right. We understand that people are busy and most businesses are trying to meet their obligations – but there is a difference between needing help, making mistakes and deliberate cover-ups.”

In recent months, the ATO has visited over 5,000 small businesses around the country.

For more information or to register to come to an information session, visit

To report a concern, visit

Location of visits

Businesses and tax professionals are invited to attend a one-hour information session at Cranbourne Racecourse (Grant Street, Cranbourne, VIC 3977), at 10am or 4pm.

There will also be a one-hour ‘Introduction to business records’ session at 11:15am for interested businesses.

Top three tips for small businesses

  1. Pay family, friends and employees working in your business the correct wages and super.

Our sophisticated data analytics can spot differences between what an employer and an employee report in their tax return.

  1. Keep business and personal income separate.

A common issue is not keeping expenses separate or claiming deductions for personal expenses.

  1. Use an electronic record keeping system – it will save you time in the long run.

There are plenty of packages available to suit different needs and budgets. For more information, visit

Know where to get help & support

We know most small businesses use a registered tax agent for tax advice and to lodge their tax return, or a registered BAS agent to lodge their business activity statements. We also offer a range of learning resources to make it easier for small business to get their tax right, including small business workshops and webinars.

There are also a number of services where small business operators can chat to us one on one, such as our Live chat, After-hours call back service, and our Business Assistance Program, which offers tailored support over 12 months.

For more information, visit