New ATO contracting reporting requirements

by FM Media
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Businesses in the building and construction industry now have to report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) the total amount they have paid contractors each year for building and construction services.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a statement noting that from 1 July 2012 businesses in the building and construction industry will have to report to them the total amount they have paid contractors each year for building and construction services. The ATO states that it will compare this information with the income contractors in the building and construction industry have included in their tax returns.
The information to be reported each year by businesses that paid contractors in the building and construction industry will be:

  • the contractor’s Australian business number (ABN)
  • the contractor’s name
  • the contractor’s address, and
  • the total amount paid to the contractor, including any GST.

The statement issued by the ATO urges contractors to make sure they:

  • lodge their 2012-13 tax return by the due date and include all their income
  • lodge any prior years’ tax returns as soon as possible, and
  • consider making a voluntary disclosure if they think they have made a mistake in a previously lodged tax return (where they voluntarily advise the ATO of any errors or omissions, any penalties that apply may be reduced).

John Leonard, assistant commissioner of the ATO, states that these new reporting requirements have been introduced to create a level playing field for businesses and improve tax fairness within the industry. “Contractors who fail to meet their tax obligations can gain an unfair competitive advantage,” Leonard states. “We will use the information reported to detect contractors who have not lodged tax returns or failed to include all their income in tax returns lodged.”

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