ATO to get tough on small business

The Australian Taxation Office will crack down on micro and small businesses this year with plans to conduct audits on thousands of small enterprises. The ATO basically suspended compliance operations while the GST was being introduced but now intends to get serious. Compliance audits will be run on 250,000 micro businesses over 2004-05, 10 per cent of the total number of enterprises with turnover less than $2 million a year. Small to medium businesses will also be targeted with 26,000 enterprises to be checked – a quarter of the total number with annual revenue between $2 million and $100 million. ATO field officers will focus on activity statement obligations, PAYG withholding liabilities and income tax instalments.