Intensified GST Audits

Intensified GST Audits

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is intensifying its efforts to address a $6 billion gap between GST (Goods and Services Tax) receipts and what it believes is owed. The Australian Bookkeepers Network has cautioned bookkeepers that the ATO is focusing on GST compliance and that BAS (Business Activity Statement) agents and tax agents can expect an increase in audits.

This increased audit activity by the ATO is a response to widespread GST fraud, facilitated by social media, with the estimated cost being around $1.6 billion. The ATO has launched Operation Protego and taken action against more than 56,000 taxpayers and pursued criminal prosecutions to address this issue.

The ATO diligently reviews numerous tax returns and business activity statements, including GST claims. In many cases, no adjustments are necessary. However, even in instances where adjustments aren’t required, there may still be significant professional fees charged by bas/tax agents to their clients, to satisfy the ATO audit. This is where our Audit Shield service comes into play.

You may have recently received our annual Audit Shield insurance emails and invoices at the end of October, which were sent to our accounting clients.

The Audit Shield insurance not only covers income tax return audits but also extends to audits and reviews of employer obligations, such as Pay As You Go Withholding on wages (PAYGW), Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), and Superannuation Guarantee (SG), in addition to business income tax and Goods & Services Tax (GST) reviews and audits.

We offer specific levels of coverage tailored for individuals, businesses, and Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs).

Participating in this service is tax-deductible and all previous lodgments are automatically protected, regardless of who prepared them.

Benefits of the Audit Shield service include:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: The ATO targets various areas, including audits and reviews of Employer Obligations (PAYG/FBT/SG), Income Tax, and GST.
  • Retrospective Protection: Previously filed returns are automatically covered.
  • Specialist Fees: Fees for any external specialists, such as taxation lawyers or relevant consultants engaged by us to assist with audit activities, are also covered.
  • Freedom of Choice: Participation in this offering is optional, so there is no obligation to take part.

Important information about the Audit Shield service:

  • Audit Shield maintains a tax audit insurance policy in our business’s name. By choosing the Audit Shield service, you and your entities will be included in our policy.
  • Our policy is a group policy underwritten by AAI Limited (trading as Vero Insurance), a subsidiary of Suncorp Group Limited.
  • Your payment includes a fee for our administrative costs associated with managing this service.
  • To benefit from this service, we must act as your registered tax agent.
  • Participation in this service is not automatic. Protection begins on the next business day after we receive your payment and expires on October 31, 2024.

If you didn’t receive information in October and would like further details about the Audit Shield service, please email

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