EP#237 ~ How does the ATO work with associations and industry groups to support small businesses to meet their tax obligations?

| Tuesday June 18

Small Biz Matters: People, Policy, Purpose ~ Episode #237
Broadcast date: 18th June 2024
Host: Alexi Boyd, Small Business Advocate & Policy Advisor
Guest: Will Day, Deputy Commissioner Small Business at Australian Taxation Office

We are pleased to be joined on Small Biz Matters by those in government who are really at the coalface of supporting small business. Today we welcome Will Day, assistant commissioner in charge of small business at the Australian Tax Office. So why did we ask the ATO on the program you may ask?

Well, as difficult as it may be, whilst small businesses struggle to keep their doors open in the current economic climate, it’s also important that they continue to work on meeting their obligations. We all know that tax and compliance is difficult and unnecessary burden on small business but it is also critical ensuring that small businesses a vital role in the economy. But whilst we all struggle with compliance and making sure everything is in order there is a group of businesses who do the wrong thing; making it unfair and inequitable for the rest of us.

The ATO takes a considered and careful approach when dealing with small businesses, doing their best to really understanding what they’re going through. Critical to this is their relationship with the advisor community and associations who speak openly and frankly about what their small businesses; and how the policy burden can be better administered by the ATO to make the process as simple as possible.

So let’s have a listen to what Will Day has to say about the way they support, work with advisors, the latest digital developments on the ATO website and what they’re doing to stamp out software that gives some small businesses and unfair advantage.

PEOPLE - How does the tax office engage with the small business industry groups and associations to understand the needs of small businesses and the best way to support their members to meet their tax obligations? How important is it to engage with advisors, and is that a different conversation?  POLICY - What are your current priorities which the ATO developing with these groups to refine and make fit for purpose for small business? "The new Commissioner mentioned at the COSBOA summit the amount of collectable debt is now at over $50 billion. 65% of all collectable debt owed relates to small business and 74% of that relates to activity statements. What's your message to small businesses listening today who have a debt with the ATO and are not sure what they should do?"

PURPOSE - How does the ATO work with other government departments and regulators to streamline processes and make it easier and lessen the reporting burden on small businesses? Are there any new tech developments in the pipeline?

With over 25 years’ experience in the Australian Taxation Office, Will Day has performed many senior roles leading its support to client experiences.

As ATO Deputy Commissioner for Small Business, Will is focused on helping small business owners get things right from the start by making it easier to comply with their tax and superannuation obligations as well as helping to improve overall business literacy and skills through education. 

Will has responsibility for delivering a program of work that is focused on collaborating with partners to design a digital-first approach to make it easier for small businesses meet their obligations.

Will is also focused on making sure there is a level playing field for the vast majority of small businesses that do pay their fair share by looking closely at activities in the shadow economy.  

Prior to his current role, Will had senior roles focused on improving the quality of the ATO’s technical public advice and guidance as well as roles supporting the integrity of the tax and superannuation systems.

To find out more go to: ATO Small Business Newsroom