The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Tax Practitioners’ Board (TPB) have issued a joint warning to tax agents and advisers not to seek to manipulate the system as a result of COVID-19 and the Government’s various policy announcements.
The two bodies have quite specifically asked “that tax agents and businesses be mindful that it is not acceptable to backdate or artificially change a business structure or employment arrangements, including changing the characterisation of payments, in order to obtain a benefit or payment that would not otherwise have been paid”.
“The ATO and TPB will take firm and swift action should this be the case,” they said.
“We understand these situations can be difficult to navigate and we encourage anyone who needs advice to seek assistance from us,” the joint communication said. “If you become aware of someone doing the wrong thing, report them.”
“As trusted guardians of the tax and super systems, we all have an important role to play in helping Australia overcome these challenges. The best way forward is for all of us to work together to ensure the Government measures are applied in accordance with their intent.”