Ombudsman backs ATO service for small businesses

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson has welcomed the ATO’s decision to turn its small business independent review service into a permanent offering, following what was said to be a “highly successful” pilot program.

Mr Billson says the ATO’s now permanent independent review service provides small businesses with a timely, free and fair dispute resolution pathway.

“I congratulate the ATO for taking a proactive approach with this commitment to help resolve small business tax disputes,” says Mr Billson.

“The ATO has acted quickly to implement a key recommendation in our recently released report, ‘A tax system that works for small business’, which will help support small businesses when they disagree with an ATO audit position.

“This ATO decision is a substantial step in the right direction in ensuring small businesses are given a fair go.”

Mr Billson notes that more than 180 small businesses who participated in the pilot program reported the process was fair and independent, irrespective of the outcome.

“The ATO’s small business independent review service is a crucial part of ASBFEO’s vision of a tax system that works for the small business sector, so businesses can achieve greater productivity, return to profitability and grow employment,” he says.

“This ATO service marks an important contribution to a supportive environment which is needed now more than ever as small businesses recover from an incredibly tough 12 months.”

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