ATO puts privately owned groups on notice

The ATO has released a list of behaviours and characteristics that may attract its attention in relation to privately owned and wealthy groups. It says the information has been provided as part of its commitment to transparency in working with privately owned and wealthy groups.

Broadly, the following behaviours and characteristics may attract its attention:

• tax or economic performance that is not comparable to similar businesses
• low transparency of tax affairs
• large, one-off or unusual transactions, including transfer or shifting of wealth
• a history of aggressive tax planning
• tax outcomes inconsistent with the intent of tax law
• choosing not to comply or regularly taking controversial interpretations of the law
• lifestyle not supported by after-tax income
• accessing business assets for tax-free private use
• poor governance and risk-management systems.