There are a number of different taxes that people working or doing business in Australia are obligated to pay, the most well-known being income tax, GST (goods and services tax), PAYG withholding tax, CGT (capital gains tax), FBT (fringe benefits tax) and company tax. There are others that apply to smaller sections of the taxpaying public, but suffice to say that the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) has information about all tax obligations on their website for anyone who is interested.
Penalties for failure to comply with these tax obligations are also available on the ATO website. It is hard, therefore, to see how anyone engaged in earning income in this country would not know which taxes apply to their situation, and the penalties for non-compliance. Despite this wealth of information, and the presence of many hundreds of tax agents and accounting firms like Carbon Group who could help them, people and companies still mismanage or avoid their obligations.
Lodging Tax Returns
The ATO has developed online systems to make lodging personal tax returns easy for the average worker whose tax affairs are not complicated. For businesses, the situation is different and the government continually receives complaints that reporting requirements are an unnecessary burden. This applies especially to the BAS (business activity statement). This key reporting document combines seven different taxes and credits, allowing businesses to report most activity in one process.
When the goods and services tax was first introduced in 2001, the BAS was relatively simple to complete. As time passed it became more complex until now, as many businesses prefer to outsource it to professional bookkeeping or accounting firms. This is one of the services offered by Carbon Group and allows owners and managers to concentrate on running their businesses, knowing that their BAS will be completed accurately and lodged with the ATO on time.
Tax Compliance for Businesses
Instead of doing their own tax compliance recording and reporting, successful business people these days are calling on their external accountants to do much more than complete the annual tax returns. They are managing their tax obligations by using the additional services now being offered by many accounting firms to perform tasks such as completing and lodging their BAS.
No business owner or manager wants to spend time dealing with an unexpected assessment notice from the ATO or a penalty for late lodgement of some report. The business environment these days is very competitive, with change in all areas occurring more rapidly now than ever before. Management expertise and experience is needed in functions like planning, marketing, pricing, purchasing and recruiting just to keep the business ahead of its competitors.
Penalties apply for all kinds of infringements, and repeated failures to meet tax obligations can attract a tax audit or some other action that takes attention off the main game, which is to run a successful and thriving business. In extreme cases where deliberate tax avoidance has been proven, a custodial sentence is a real possibility.
If you are struggling to meet all the demands of your business to the detriment of your personal well-being and that of your financial future, consider outsourcing your tax reporting obligations to a firm such as Carbon Group. This will remove a huge weight off your shoulders and allow you to get on with building your future, and that of your employees.