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ATO ignores law to continue its harassment of the ‘little’ people

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

It’s a shame but really annoying that we have to continue reporting on, and ‘taking on’, the Tax Office over the harassment of small business people.

We have several cases ‘on the go’ but here we update you on the Rod Douglass case. To remind you, last year we had the ATO back down in the Federal Court admitting that its allegation of fraud by Rod was baseless and “incorrectly formed”. After two years of harassing Rod, the ATO dropped its claim of $440,000 against him backdated to 2006. It has never apologized mind you!!

Now the ATO is having another go at Rod. This time it wants $140,000. The essence of this second case is that the ATO seeks to deny Rod his self-employed tax status. Technically, it’s about the application of the Personal Service Income tax laws and whether an ATO statement of the ‘results’ test back in 2005 is arguably misleading. Here’s the information we put out on this in 2007.

Rod’s case is hugely important because what the ATO is doing to him it can do to anyone who is self-employed. In running its action against Rod we accuse the ATO of seeking to ignore the law in such a way that the ATO is, from the ordinary person’s perspective, breaking the law.

The Tax Act says that in passing the ‘results test’ that “regard is to be had to whether it is the custom or practice, when work of the kind in question is performed by an entity other than an employee.” The ATO refuses to confirm or deny that in assessing Rod it has any evidence of what is ‘custom or practice’. This is extraordinary. What gall. Yet it maintains its attack.

Robert Gottliebsen (The Australian) in commenting on the case last week  said: “…the ATO knows … if they play legal games, in most cases small business can’t afford the defence… (and) This underlines the basic unfairness of the system.”

The ATO’s unfairness and harassment must be confronted.
Anonymous commented on 13-Aug-2019 11:01 AM
...Hi im a partner in two small businesses ….I pay of my tax commitments every week ...in a perfect world I would pay it all up in one lump sum ...but that is impossible if I wish to pay energy bills and eat ..these businesses are family owned and ran and have been established for many years... one for over 40 years the other for 29years and we have never not paid what is owed .Last night at 7 pm received another call from ATO...this is border line harassment as I see it... I keep paying every week and have never missed and they keep texting and ringing ...may I say with no id caller ….we are very small fish ...but im very stressed every time they ring ...I have an accountant so now I suggest they ring him ..they ask for his name etc ...I feel they know everything else they should know that .thanks for your attention ..jen

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