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Electronic systems

Protecting Honest Businesses – ATO

Electronic systems are in-favour with the Australia Taxation Office (ATO).  They know that most business owners are honest and that running a business can be difficult. So they are looking at industry-wide patterns so they can see who may need assistance.

The ATO say that, unfortunately, there are businesses that operate in the cash and hidden economy, gaining an unfair advantage over those who declare their income and do the right thing. The ATO aim to protect honest business from this unfair competition.

Cash continues to be more common in certain types of businesses. While there are many reasons for this, the ATO say that the advantages of electronic payment and record keeping systems are more beneficial – especially in the long run.

The ATO will be visiting and contacting businesses around Australia, with a particular focus on those that mainly deal in cash, promoting the benefits of electronic payment and record keeping. They acknowledge that most business owners are honest and that running a business can be difficult. So, by finding industry-wide patterns, they can see who may need assistance.

They work closely with industry associations, tax practitioners and businesses to understand any issues they may have. They use up-to-date third-party data and sophisticated risk-analysis to identify who may not be doing the right thing or may need a bit more help.

The ATO have found that the community has less tolerance for unfair practices than they once did. They urge that if you see something, let them know so they can follow it up.

Perks of using electronic systems

In addition to saving you time, the ATO say that electronic payment and record keeping systems can help you:

  • reconcile sales more easily
  • manage your books and generate reports to keep track of your business and identify issues early on
  • capture and access records on the go and through different devices
  • reduce the risk of errors compared to recording everything manually
  • lodge your activity statements more quickly
  • safeguard your records from flood or fire
  • reduce the risk of employee theft
  • keep up with customer expectations – most people expect to be able to pay electronically.

Look for more articles about the ATO and Small Business.