Tradies in the construction industry: are you at risk with the ATO?

17th August, 2015

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is focussing on contractors in the building industry, as it seeks to recoup unpaid GST and undeclared income.

The cash economy has always been on the Tax Office radar, but now under the new reporting system they introduced in 2013, building companies must report on all payments made to contractors, and the ATO is hoping to catch more contractors in their revenue net.

250,000 contractors and counting…

Already the ATO has hit more than 250,000 contractors with more than $2.3 billion in tax bills for avoiding their income tax and GST obligations. Tradesmen be warned! While keeping up with business paperwork and tax obligations leaves less time for fishing, the Tax Office is also going fishing and they want to catch you in their net!

Now is the time to catch up with your bookwork and free yourself of the worry and headache if the ATO comes knocking on your door. Get that pile of receipts, invoices and records into an accounting software package, and you can then breathe easy and have time to visit your favourite fishing spot.

Take the stress away

Use an accounting package like MYOB to ensure your accounting records are accurate and all your lodgement requirements are up to date. Don’t have time? Then hire a bookkeeper to help you.

There are many advantages in using accounting software:

  1. It makes it easier for you to meet your tax obligations such as GST & income tax.
  2. You will have a better understanding of how your business is performing. All the accounting information is recorded and saved in one convenient location, and with the press of a button you can print financial reports to see how your business performing.
  3. With up-to-date information comes better business decision-making. You can access your accounting data anytime and compare your business performance over different time periods.
  4. It helps to lower your accounting fees. Your accounting records will be clean and tidy and in a format that your accountant will prefer at year-end. Less time spent by your accountant means less in accounting fees for you.
  5. It will save you time in doing your tax each year, as all the information is already entered into the software during the year rather than you being overwhelmed with paperwork. This frees up time to focus on making money instead of doing paperwork.
  6. It helps track your customer payments and supplier payments so you can plan your cash flow better.
  7. It even helps in case you get an ATO audit. You will have all your accounting data backed-up ready to support your compliance obligations.
  8. Want that new ute or business vehicle? If you are using an accounting package then no problem. Your records and tax lodgements will be up-to-date, and your finance will be approved quicker.

With the Taxation Office focusing on tradesmen and matching data like customer payments, GST and income, you should seriously consider being proactive and implementing an accounting software package to help you meet your tax obligations.