Tax Audit

The team at Abbotts focus on achieving sound tax outcomes for our clients. At the forefront of this focus is ensuring that neither our clients nor our practice are seen as viable targets of the ATO for tax audit investigation. We structure our client’s affairs so as to comply with the law and to not raise unnecessary audit flags. Not being audited is far more important than merely surviving an audit. The scars of an audit linger whether you win the argument or lose it.

In recent years, the Australian Taxation Office has increased its audit activity and audits are inevitable and part of our daily life. Audits undertaken on our clients generally don’t go beyond an initial enquiry, as we are always highly prepared to resolve the inquiry promptly and efficiently, often without our clients even knowing it happened. That’s the Peace of mind part of our philosophy.

We provide comprehensive advice and assist you in identifying compliance issues your business is having difficulty with, and can liaise with the ATO on your behalf regarding any objections and appeals. If required we can provide representation on your behalf during the audit procedures.

To provide you with the peace of mind that your business affairs are in order Abbotts can conduct internal audit reviews and risk assessments of your business (or divisions within it). These services will review your taxation compliance procedures, advising on areas of weakness for review and allowing you to focus your efforts on minimising business practices that increase the risk of exposure to audits.

Understanding the tax audit risks associated with transactions is crucial when planning business structures and ventures. Abbotts have the experience and professional experience necessary to identify all of the options available in managing your taxation affairs, and then putting forward strategic plans capable of achieving the best possible tax efficiencies, and minimise the possibility or the impact of a tax audit.

Find out more about our strategic planning services here

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax employers pay on certain benefits they provide to their employees – including their employees’ family or other associates. The benefit may be in addition to, or part of, their salary or wages package.

Abbotts provide comprehensive advice on FBT and can ensure you meet your obligations with the correct application, reporting and lodging of a FBT return.

Managing a tax audit is as much about managing the process as it is about responding to an audit demand. There are both documents and recollections from people to examine and understand. Abbotts know what is necessary to guide a tax auditor through to a mutually acceptable outcome, and can assist our clients to best manage their audit.

When a proposed transaction enters the grey and blurred zone of uncertainty, Abbotts can prepare private binding ruling requests to ensure your proposed transaction will be treated by the ATO exactly as you expect. If this means the transaction has to be restructured to accommodate a known tax exposure then it is always best to have that information up front, before you commit to a course of action.

When things are a little uncertain and it is prudent to seek a more detailed opinion of a tax transaction Abbotts can provide detailed tax opinions. In the case of particularly complex legal matters we can refer you to highly competent and respected taxation lawyers who are familiar with the transactions you are contemplating.

As the ATO moves increasingly toward data matching and target oriented audit examinations, the possibility of being subject to a random audit is increasing every year. Responding to official queries and audits can be stressful and costly to your business.

Abbotts offer our clients an optional comprehensive audit insurance – providing cost effective protection against the substantial professional costs that may be incurred should the ATO or other relevant government revenue agency conduct an audit, enquiry, investigation or review.

Income, Land and Payroll Tax, BAS/GST Compliance, Workers Compensation / WorkCover, Superannuation Guarantee and Compliance, Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and FBT are just some of the inclusions of what is covered under the service.

The ATO’s role is to administer the Australian tax system in accordance with taxation and superannuation law. Given the degree of interpretation required to do this, it is quite regular that disputes between taxpayers and the ATO can arise. Abbotts are able to assist in the resolution process whether it be via the lodgement of a successful objection or referral to a specialist taxation lawyer. We have also been engaged to prepare Private Binding Ruling applications for clients that are seeking clarity with respect to a complex or uncertain taxation issue.

Our Tax Audit Specialists

David Drake

Partner, Abbotts Chartered Accountants

David is our Tax Specialist and has worked in the tax and accounting field since 1982. David spent several years early in his career working in the ATO. He joined the Abbotts team in 1997 and became a Partner of the Practice in July 2000.

Eric Ballard

Director, Abbotts Chartered Accountants

Eric has in excess of 15 years of experience providing tax and business services having worked in both mid-tier and boutique advisory firms.

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