What is the ATO and what do they do?

The ATO is Australia’s Tax Office.

Similar to the USA’s IRS and the UK’s Revenue & Customs, the ATO is responsible for making sure individuals, businesses, self-managed super funds and other entities lodge their taxes each year.

Each person and business is responsible for lodging their own tax return, usually for the year to June 30th.

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ATO Reviews and Audits

If the ATO thinks you have been a little cheeky in your tax return they will conduct a review of your tax affairs. The review may result in an audit, which is often conducted over 18 months.

To detect issues, the ATO will use sophisticated compliance filtering processes, and an audit may involve the ATO visiting your place of business.

A good rule of thumb is to be open and honest with the ATO, and seek expert tax advice if you are being audited.

In addition to monitoring and collecting taxes, the ATO works with other parties like APRA and ASIC to maintain Australia’s highly regulated financial system.

The ATO website has loads of informative articles, video and other content which can help you prepare and pay your taxes.

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