I try and keep a positive mindset but this year I realised that doom and gloom was a reality that I was likely to soon be faced with. Let me explain……
I annually attend a seminar called Tax Schools, imagine 400 accountants in a room together for 2 days – it’s a thrill let me tell you! Generally the audit section comes around; the industries under specific review by the Australian Taxation Office are highlighted (plumbers I’m talking to you) and then we go about our merry way.
This year something different happened. Everyone in the room was asked to raise their hand if they had been involved in an ATO audit with one of their clients in the last 2 months. To my great surprise about 75% of the accountants in the room raised their hands. The discussion that followed was astonishing to me.
In general, it was pretty clear – audits are now the norm rather than the maybe. The government announced that it is investing $76.8 million dollars over 3 years for tax evasion and avoidance review, $195.3 million in the coming years to promote GST compliance and $106 million over 4 years to manage outstanding tax returns, debt and superannuation guarantee charges.Upon hearing this news, I had one of those moments when I wanted to crawl under the desk and rock back and forth in the foetal position.
Audits are time, stress and financially costly and this is the case even if you/your business comes through the audit/review/investigation without any issues raised. The level of information and compliance documents required to be provided to the ATO during an audit can be significant. It is for these reasons IQ Accountants are offering the additional service of audit insurance. Audit insurance allows peace of mind that if and when and audit occurs, the accounting time spent complying with the auditors request is covered.
And to finish up on a lighter note……the title of this blog post gives away our attire for the 5km fun run. Yes, laugh away….. it wasn’t my first choice but when in Rome…… 🙂