Agencies to be scrutinised by ATO

Real estate businesses will be one of the industries scrutinised by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure employers are paying superannuation guarantee contributions on behalf of staff.

Other businesses that will be targetted include cafes and restaurants and carpentry businesses in home building or construction. 

The ATO have warned employers that those failing to pay contributions for eligible employees to nominated funds will be forced to pay a superannuation guarantee charge to the ATO.

“We analyse industries and employers to identify and audit those with a high risk of non-compliance with their superannuation guarantee obligations,” it said. “This year we will review, in focused superannuation guarantee audits, around 400 high-risk employers where we find evidence of non-compliance, particularly in the industries where we have previously focused communication activities.”

The ATO have also said that it will check the superannuation guarantee compliance of 3,000 employers as part of its broader employer obligations reviews.

“We will also check that these employers are complying with their obligation to provide employee tax file numbers to superannuation funds,” it said.

“Last year, we also followed up complaints about unpaid superannuation with around 12,000 employers, mainly micro enterprises. This year we expect to contact around 13,000 employers regarding complaints about unpaid superannuation.”

As part of its regulations, the ATO said they will match information in tax returns and business activity statements with details of transactions reported to them by a range of third parties. These include payments and grants by other government agencies, payments by businesses to contractors, income from investments and partnership and trust distributions, property and share transactions, and cross-border transactions and internal funds transfer.

“This range of information means we can build a complete picture of every business, including income earned, investment details, acquisition or disposal of assets such as real estate, cars and boats, and business connections," it said.

“Information matching is used to identify taxpayers who have failed to lodge tax returns or activity statements, under-reported or omitted income or transactions subject to GST, or failed to meet other obligations, such as excise, luxury car tax and superannuation guarantee obligations."

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