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ATO warning on aggressive tax planning

The ATO is warning taxpayers of aggressive tax planning strategies will attract a significant amount of scrutiny. A number of specific strategies have been flagged as aggressive in a video named ‘Tax Tricks That Will Get You In Trouble’.

When it comes to tax avoidance schemes, it is not uncommon for individuals to be duped by a fraudulent investment opportunity or given bad advice from an unqualified financial planner. The advice that the ATO give is fairly straightforward: if a tax planning strategy seems too good to be true then it probably is.
This is also advice that should be applied to investment returns that seem unrealistically high. Multiple research studies have proven that people with higher rates of education and investment experience are actually more likely to fall for fraudulent investment scams because they are less likely to seek an outside opinion.

Posted on 20 April '15 by , under Tax.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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