ATO cracks down on cash jobs

According to the ATO, if a bricklaying business consistently reports an income that is less than the industry benchmark, the business could be avoiding its tax commitments.The benchmark shows the average time, materials and incomes involved in a household project.“There are times, of course, when business performance is outside the benchmarks for valid reasons, but consistent, long-term performance outside the benchmarks could be a sign a business is not meeting its tax obligations,” Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said.“Benchmarks complement the work we are undertaking to address the cash economy, including data matching, writing to people we think may be at risk and helping businesses with their record-keeping practices through our small business assistance program,” he said.“For example, in the six months to the end of December last year, we contacted more than 84,000 small businesses and their tax agents in connection with cash economy risks, resulting in more than 5000 reviews and audits, which generated tax liabilities of around $47 million.”The ATO says the new benchmark levels the playing field, claiming tax dodgers jeopardise the viability of honest businesses.In addition, bricklaying businesses can use the benchmark to compare their performance with the rest of the sector, according to the ATO.National Federation of Bricklayers & Masonry Employers secretary Don McKenzie says the benchmark helps bricklayers more accurately quote jobs, complete their tax and pick up any mistakes.“Knowing the costs to customers for standard jobs will make it easier to see who may be dealing in cash and not reporting all their income,” McKenzie said.

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