Some might say ‘Panic.’ We say ‘Be aware!’ ‘Be prepared!’
Our coverage and criticism of the ATO’s treatment of small business people is extensive. See here. We understand why some people might think we are exaggerating. Surely the stories are ‘one-offs?’
But we see a pattern. The ATO’s behaviours are a result of its powers, powers that exceed those of the police. It’s a shock to discover that the ATO can:
- Raid your home without a warrant.
- Allege a debt without proper evidence.
- Demand payment of an alleged debt.
- Forcibly take (garnishee) money from your bank account.
- Sell your house.
- Bankrupt you.
All this before you have a chance to defend yourself. Surely not! But unfortunately, ‘yes’, these powers are given to the ATO in legislation.
We say ‘Don’t panic!’ ‘Be aware!’ ‘Be prepared!’ ‘Knowledge is self-empowering!’
Make sure your accountant knows. If your accountant doesn’t understand the ATO’s powers, he or she could make mistakes in handling your tax.