The ATO plans to visit almost 10,000 businesses this financial year in all States and Territories, across a variety of industries, as part of their strategy to deal with the black economy (they visited nearly 9,000 businesses in the 2018/19 financial year).
According to Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt, there are a number of businesses in some areas not registered for GST or PAYG withholding, which can be a sign of the black economy, as well as a number of businesses with overdue tax returns.
Other black economy signs that the ATO looks out for are things like lifestyle and assets far exceeding reported business income, sham contracting, a failure to provide pay slips, reports that employers are paying their workers cash in hand and keeping them off the books, or a lack of merchant payment facilities like EFTPOS.
Some businesses are more likely than others to get a visit from the ATO, including:
- Residential building construction;
- Building completion and installation services, and other construction services;
- Building cleaning, pest control, and gardening services;
- Pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing;
- Automotive repair and maintenance;
- Cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services;
- Personal care services;
- Legal and accounting services;
- Computer system design and related services; and
- Adult, community and other education services