SEA has a long involvement with the Australian Taxation Office going back to our formation in 2000. The evidence is that the ATO abuses self-employed small business people. We have campaigned to expose this. The ATO must be reformed to stop this abuse.
In 2020 we are campaigning for major reforms to the ATO modelled on the Taxpayer Rights laws covering the USA Internal Revenue Service.
On this campaign summary page you will find:
A template for ATO reform
A template (also) for UK reform
Creating justice in ATO Administration
ATO abuse of self-employed small business—evidence
Corruption in the ATO?
History of SEA tax campaigning
The Richard Boyle Whistleblower case
YouTube video explaining the reforms (20 minutes)
On 21 February 2023 we gave a joint presentation to the Taxpayer Fairness Group’s senior parliamentary members. We offered them a vision of a solution based on the USA model which we also recommend for Australia. (YouTube links below.)
Click here for:
In 2017-18 we called for major reform of the ATO. In March 2019 we had the first major success with the creation of the Small Business Tax Tribunal.
In 2020 we are calling for much bigger ATO reform based on the USA model of Taxpayer Rights laws.
“Reform the ATO”, says Senator. An important speech! [December 2019]
SEA Executive Director spends two weeks in Washington researching USA tax admin laws [October 2019]
Watch these YouTube reports from Washington:
Small Business Tax Tribunal
We launched campaign for Small Business Tax Tribunal [5 February 2017]
The government launched the new Tribunal [1 March 2019]
Two key documents:
- External to, and independent of, the ATO.
- Small business people can trigger a referral at any time.
- The ATO will not enforce a debt while a matter is before the SBTT
- The ATO will not ordinarily use external lawyers.
- A decision within 28 days of a hearing.
- If ATO appeals a decision, ATO will fund the small business person’s lawyers.
We call for major ATO Reform
In 2018 and into 2019 there was huge media exposure and official reports giving evidence of ATO abuse of power.
Tax Commissioner’s gobsmacking Senate statement [October 2019]
Small Business Ombudsman Slams ATO [April 2019]
Key Parliamentary Tax Committee blasts ATO [February 2019]
China and the ATO – Dictatorship vs the Rule of Law [February 2019]
Official reports say ATO abuses self-employed (July 2018):
ATO responds to Four Corners (June 2018)
Four Corners ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’ (9 April 2018)
ABC Four Corners program blows the lid on the ATO’s mistreatment of self-employed, small business people.
This historic and crucial report must be a trigger for ATO reform.
ATO illegally withdraws ABNs
In late 2017 the ATO suddenly withdrew the ABNs of 16 work-from-home, low-income, self-employed people. This immediately destroyed their incomes. It took almost 13 weeks of hard pressure before the ATO backed down.
Here’s the full story.
The Rod Douglass Case
Rod was accused by the ATO of tax evasion because he followed ATO advice on the ATO website. We took Rod’s case to court where the ATO dropped its allegation.
Here’s Rod’s story.
The Michael Shord Case
- Federal Court Judge says treatment of ‘Michael’ by ATO unfair. (November 2017)
Could the ATO have attempted to pervert the court of justice?
September 2018: we release our major research project “ATO Rules For The Rich”. We call for a high level investigation into whether the ATO suffers from internal corruption.
Submission to Treasury on Australian Business Numbers [November 2018]
Submission to Treasury on Director Identification Numbers [October 2018]
Submission to House Tax and Revenue Committee [October 2018]
- Appendix A: The Rod Douglass case
- Appendix B: ATO false statements
We oppose expansion of ATO power [16 August 2018]
Big review of ATO [June 2017]
ATO’s discrimination against independent contractors to stop [January 2015]
Questions to the Tax Commissioner and his reply [September 2014]
ICA submission to Board of Taxation Review [May 2014]
Tax Office doesn’t ‘get it’ [December 2012]
ATO fails to apply PSI laws: Case Study [July 2012]
Bill Shorten says ‘no change’ to PSI [October 2010]
Statement from Abbott opposition on PSI [June 2010]
Tax Burden: UK versus Australia [June 2010]