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An “uncredible” win for the taxpayers…

ATO audits seem to be delving deeper and going longer, and there appear to be more taxpayers disputing amended and default assessments at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. These disputes often focus on the need for the taxpayer to discharge its onus of proof that the assessments are excessive. In our article we analyse the approach taken in Liang v Commissioner of Taxation.

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GST and whether property activities are an enterprise

Earlier this year the Administrative Appeals Tribunal issued its decision in Lance’s Case. The decision highlights the importance of GST fundamentals, and that a taxpayer requires sufficient supporting evidence to discharge it’s onus of proof when challenging tax matters. 

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FBT 2024 – a potpourri

With the 2024 FBT year now over the focus switches to FBT return preparation and lodgement. This article outlines a variety of FBT matters that have crossed our desks in 2024, including the challenge of getting FBT compliance right.

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The ATO’s required standard for tax documentation is “perfect”

ATO data matching has always existed. It is mostly used to pre-fill reports on tax returns, which can be helpful. Increasingly, the ATO has been using data matching to find inconsistencies in tax returns. In some cases, this approach seems to be focussed only on whether there is a technical breach of a tax law, with no consideration made of whether there has been any real tax mischief.

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How much can a taxpayer rely on a tax agent?

In this article, we further discuss the burden of proof for the taxpayer at the AAT. We consider aspects of the WYVW decision including penalties, the safe harbour provisions and the level of care expected of directors when engaging a tax agent.

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What documentation do small businesses really need?

When determining the assessable income of the taxpayer or assessments that have been amended as the result of an ATO audit, the onus of proof is on the taxpayer. Commonly the Commissioner wins, with a lack of contemporaneous documentation often being a fatal weakness. So what documents do taxpayers need? Find out here.

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Through the tax looking glass

It seems appropriate for our final edition of The Assessment in 2023 that we look back on a few tax decisions from this year including EV charges and NFP reporting. We shall also cast our minds forward to foresee some possible tax changes to come in 2024.

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