ATO objectives coins-handiest hair and splendor corporations
Posted by Jonathan M. McCoy on 2nd June 2019

Every yr, the Australian Tax Office focuses resources on sure sectors of the economy that are visible as hotbeds of tax non-compliance.
This year, driven by a push from government to usher in greater tax greenbacks, the ATO has set its points of interest at the coins financial system, and the hair and beautiful region has been earmarked for mainly near the attention.
Why does the ATO have a problem with the cash financial system?
Quite genuinely, in this day and age, when the usage of debit and credit playing cards is ubiquitous, the ATO regards coins-best organizations as having best one cause to exist from a financial angle and this is as a way of averting tax.
So even though it isn’t unlawful to perform a cash-simplest commercial enterprise, the ATO constantly unearths below-reporting of takings, main to failure to pay the right amount of income tax and GST. In addition, coins-only corporations often fail to account for tax and superannuation nicely on their personal’ wages.

The trouble is regarded as mainly acute amongst hair and splendor businesses because of fifty-eight in step with cent are coins most effective and the enterprise has the 1/3 highest number of reports about capacity tax evasion.
How does the ATO know whether or not I’m reporting my taxes effectively?
The ATO has an arsenal of compliance equipment that it routinely makes use of to screen coins-only agencies. At its handiest, that could suggest unannounced visits from tax auditors. At the extra sophisticated quit of the spectrum, the ATO may be acquiring records about your business from suppliers, which it could use to calculate (primarily based for your purchases of hair and beauty merchandise) what your turnover need to be. By matching that parent together with your real turnover based totally on your income tax and GST reporting, the ATO can spot discrepancies for similarly investigation.
H&R Block’s Mark Chapman says the ATO will use its small enterprise benchmark to perceive organizations the use of cash.
H&R Block’s Mark Chapman says the ATO will use its small enterprise benchmark to become aware of companies the usage of coins.

Small business benchmarking is one of the most normally used techniques to identify corporations that can be warding off tax. Based on data it collects from each business in Australia, the ATO is able to build a profile of an average enterprise in any enterprise in any geographical vicinity, together with what the takings, expenses, earnings margins, and profitability have to be. So, in case your hair salon’s figures fall outdoor the small commercial enterprise benchmark figures for hair salons to your area, you might find the ATO is fascinated to discover why.


The use of the small commercial enterprise benchmarks has been criticised within the past; they can be a blunt instrument that fails to recollect any quantity of legitimate motives why an enterprise might be underperforming, such as the circle of relatives issues or staffing problems. Nevertheless, they can be surprisingly a hit at spotting businesses which are failing to document all their sales; the ATO estimates that 10 in step with a cent of hair and beauty agencies are reporting quantities substantially out of doors the key small enterprise benchmark ratio for the industry.
The ATO has highlighted some examples in which it has efficiently identified issues the usage of the strategies mentioned above. In one, a nail salon business with some of the outlets was decided on while statistics matching indicated anomalies. Initial research confirmed the proprietor stored incomplete statistics and declared earnings that didn’t aid the proprietor’s lifestyle and belongings. The ATO exposed extra than $2 million of undeclared earnings, imposed penalties of greater than $241,000 for reckless behavior and in total added in underpaid GST, profits tax and consequences of extra than $728,000.
What can the ATO do if my enterprise gets it incorrect?
In the primary instance, you’re likely to be audited by way of the ATO. That may be a lengthy, time-consuming and worrying process so that it will distract you from walking your commercial enterprise and might require huge funding in professional help from qualified accountants and attorneys.
At the give up of that, in case you’ve executed the incorrect issue, you’ll face an invoice for underpaid GST and profits tax. In addition, as the example above highlights, you may face stiff penalties of everywhere among 25 and 75 according to cent of the underpaid tax, which may increase by way of 20 in step with cent if you’re a repeat perpetrator.
What needs to I do to keep out of hassle?
In the first instance, you need to be questioning why you operate on a cash-simplest foundation. As cited above, the ATO has a properly-founded suspicion that agencies are run on a cash-simplest foundation to lie to the taxman. If that picture rings a bell for you, you want to count on that the ATO will catch up with you and you need to be taking proactive steps to get your taxes in order, together with thinking about making voluntary disclosures of beyond misdeeds with a purpose to mitigate any consequences.

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If, however, you’ve got excellent reasons to be cash-best and are assured that everything is in order, you virtually want to go through your books and information and make certain that they will stand up to scrutiny. The very fact that you are a coins-most effective commercial enterprise will put you at the ATO’s radar however if all of your takings are nicely recorded, you could substantiate all of your purchases, and your payments to your self and your staff are effectively documented and taxed, you have to be able to deal quick and efficaciously with any questions that come to your manner.
Finally, the satisfactory advice for any hair and beauty commercial enterprise is to get ordinary help from your accountant or tax adviser to make sure you live on the right facet of the law.