BATHURST businesses operating illegally in the black economy have been warned: the taxman is coming to get you.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will visit around 300 small businesses in Bathurst during October and November as part of their work to put the brakes on the black economy.
Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt said the ATO had received a number of tip-offs about Bathurst businesses avoiding their tax burden by paying employees in cash or not reporting all sales.
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"Our intelligence also suggests that some businesses are not declaring all of their income to the ATO and avoiding their employer obligations by not paying staff entitlements like super and tax contributions," Mr Holt said.
"These dishonest businesses in Bathurst are unfairly overtaking their honest competitors when it comes to their tax so we're going to take a look under a few bonnets to ensure everything is in order.
"By detecting and addressing this behaviour, we're helping to ensure honest small businesses can get a fair run around the track."
Before the visits, the ATO will run an information sessions for small businesses at Bathurst Panthers from 11am-noon on Wednesday, October 16, followed by a Tax Essentials session from 12.30pm-1.30pm.
While in Bathurst, ATO officers will be available to help those who are trying to do the right thing. Businesses with tax and super questions can also speak with ATO members outside of these sessions.
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Mr Holt said Bathurst businesses that were not declaring income, not complying with their tax and super obligations or paying their workers cash in hand were contributing to the black economy.
"The black economy impacts everyone in the community," he said.
"By working directly with small businesses, we [can] work through any issues and help them get back on track and ensure a level playing field for all businesses.
"The Black Economy Taskforce estimates that the black economy is costing the community as much as $50 billion, which is approximately three percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
"This is money that the community is missing out on for vital public services like healthcare, roads, schools, and welfare."
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The ATO will also be visiting the tax practitioners of Bathurst small businesses as part of an early intervention strategy.
These visits will enable the ATO to better understand the drivers behind agent behaviour and provide education and support.
To find out more or to register for an information session, visit ato.gov.au/protectinghonestbusiness. Registration for the information session is essential.
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