News Pulse for April 11, 2018

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

A plan to fix the tax office

Australia has tried and tested state and Commonwealth public service rules and structures that serve the nation well. I believe if these rules and structures were introduced into the Australian tax collection system it would stop the worst of the current Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) abuses of small businesses /investors and restore the credibility of our innovation encouragement programs.

One of the most stunning features of the ABC’s Four Corners program was that after two years of my revelations and the dramatic expansion of that coverage by the ABC and Fairfax the top officials at the ATO Australian Taxation Office still don’t understand that they have a problem, let alone a chronic one.

Minister orders check on tax office claims

An investigation has been launched into claims the Australian Taxation Office has unfairly left small business owners in the lurch.

Fairfax and the ABC’s Four Corners reported on Monday a series of errors and actions by the ATO Australian Taxation Office which led to small businesses and individuals being financially crippled.

 

Four Corners ATO investigation sparks concerns over rising garnishee notices for SMEs: How the notice system works

The Australian Taxation Office’s powers to access taxpayers’ bank accounts have been thrown into the spotlight this week, after a whistleblower told a joint Four Corners and Fairfax investigation that tax office staff were instructed last year to ramp up the number of garnishee notices issued to businesses and individuals.

The whistleblower said staff were told “to start issuing standard garnishees on every case”, meaning small businesses were to be hit with notifications that the ATO Australian Taxation Office would be automatically deducting money from their bank accounts to cover tax liabilities.

Coalition, Labor to probe ATO over ‘scandalous’ revelations

Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has launched an investigation into Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) amid allegations of unfair treatment of small business and individuals.

Ms O’Dwyer said she was “deeply concerned” about allegations raised in a joint Fairfax Media-Four Corners investigation, which revealed several cases of bullying, intimidation and cover ups by ATO Australian Taxation Office officers.

Here we go again, ATO reaches for the corporate scandal playbook

It seems whenever an institution gets caught in the crosshairs of a public scandal its first response is to bury its head in the sand.

It is PR 101 and it’s why we have a major trust issue. The public can see right through it.

 

‘Opportunistic journalism’: ATO reacts to ABC/Fairfax reports

The federal government has launched an investigation into claims the Australian Tax Office treated small business owners unfairly but the agency insists there is no systemic problem.

Fairfax and the ABC’s Four Corners reported on Monday a series of errors and actions by the ATO Australian Taxation Office which led to small businesses and individuals being financially crippled.

Australia lags on digital banking revolution: Oracle survey

Would you be prepared to give a little-known business access to your most sensitive financial data, if it meant getting a better deal on your home loan?

This type of question is set to become increasingly relevant in the coming years, as the big data revolution joins forces with a push for greater competition in banking.

How cashless payment technology is helping local business thrive

The days when a trip to the ATM was compulsory before strolling to your local market are numbered. Instead small businesses now find themselves faced with the new breed of “cashless consumer”, and adapting to suit.

According to a recent survey by the RFi Group, 32 per cent of Australians believe they can go cashless. Fortunately, the advent of low-cost and low-fuss technology allows local businesses, including sole traders, to sell their products and services quickly and easily, whether it’s a small item or a more expensive impulse purchase.

 

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.