At ICA, we’ve been complaining to the ATO for years about its bad treatment of small business people. We’ve made major submissions to tax inquiries. Look at this long list. We’ve tried to work with the ATO but there’s been no change!
So now, thanks to some brilliant lawyers, we’re off to court. Here’s an overview of the case we described in March this year.
Finally, we can give some details. It involves 55-year-old IT contractor Rod Douglass, his wife and their partnership and a demand from the ATO for $550,000 backdated to 2006 (10 years!). Rod is accused of tax evasion. Why? Because he complied with ATO tax advice published on the ATO website. Amazing!
This treatment by the ATO can hit anyone working for themselves. Even if you’re totally honest with the ATO, they can and do target you. We’re out to protect Rod. We can’t let him be beaten up by the ATO without helping. We’ve filed in the Federal Court and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. There’s a lot of information that we’ll release as the lawyers authorize it.
However, Robert Gottliebsen has given some details and commentary in The Australian today. His article is here. Read the article so that you understand how anyone could be hit!
- …the reason for the bad (ATO) culture is the fact the … tax officials are investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and appeal court.
- It was the inescapable intention of the tax officials to bankrupt him (Rod).
- The precedent could … destroy many husband and wife partnerships around the land.
- Chris Jordan (The Tax Commissioner) should consider admitting that he has a cultural problem in his middle ranking staff.
Robert’s article gives some details of Rod’s case. ICA will keep you updated and publish much more detail here as events unfold.