The ATO has released details of its new approach to wealthy individuals and their private groups. The ATO is focusing on a “prevention-before-correction” approach and is ramping up its face-to-face interaction with key taxpayers.

According to the ATO, about 30% of wealthy individuals and their private groups are considered “high risk”. Acting Second Commissioner Michael Cranston said that if taxpayers are open and transparent with the ATO, they can expect better services and faster turnaround of key decisions.

Mr Cranston also noted the ATO “will sign-off on the previous year’s tax returns of taxpayers who have been open and transparent” about their affairs, have good compliance records and are considered low-risk. He said this will provide certainty for about 30,000 privately owned and wealthy groups that they will not be subject to an audit for specific income years.

TIP: Some of the risk areas that attract the ATO’s attention include individuals with unreported foreign income or assets; certain types of remuneration arrangements used by members of professional firms; the egregious use of trusts; and mixing personal and company expenditure.


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