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TAX •  20 MAY 2022 • 7 MIN READ

ATO crack down on GST refunds

A woman is using magnifying glass to go through her accounting records on paper

Are you in an industry such as construction, agriculture or education that regularly receives GST refunds? If so, the ATO’s latest crackdown may affect you.

Due to a number of large fraudulent GST claims, the ATO have announced tighter controls to the ABN and GST registration processes, and increased scrutiny of BAS’s showing large GST refunds.

While most of these claims are legitimate, the ATO will introduce additional controls before refunds are issued to be able to catch those which aren’t. This is likely to cause delays to refunds being made.

These measures are likely to affect not only businesses with regular GST refunds, but also those with occasional GST refunds caused by slow sales periods, or large capital outlays.

So, what can you do to mitigate this?

1. Ensure that your GST claim is correct – double check the figures before lodgement, ensure that all GST invoices are in accordance with the ATO requirements, and make sure that your business is entitled to the full amount of GST being claimed (for example, limit the GST claimed on motor vehicles as per ATO's rules);

2. Validate your BAS before lodgement

3. If you are not already doing so, consider using a reputable BAS or Tax Agent to lodge your BAS, as their history of compliance with the ATO will decrease the chances of a GST audit.

Kate, Australian problem solver

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