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  • Tahnee Brown

ATO and WorkCover data matching

Every few years the Australian Tax Office does a sneaky and cross references a few hundred million transactions with other third-party information such as banks, Australian Securities & Investments Commission, Centerlink, etc.


What's their deal?


Most business owners are aware of the Tax Office’s data-matching activities but technology is revolutionising the ATO’s compliance capabilities and they're becoming nect FBI agents.

With a few mouse clicks, the ATO’s $800 million computer system can uncover abnormalities and irregular transactions. With each mouse click, the ATO’s elite fraud squad can see new links in the data that is help them trace potential taxable transactions or fraud they might have over looked.


In a nutshell they will know if you've tried to tax dodge and pin you for it.


This financial year it's WorkCover's turn. Oh yes, they are now BFF's with ATO. With the ATO's shiney new SingleTouch Payroll system there is more data than ever right at their fingertips!


By data matching business that have paid wages and registered for SingleTouch Payroll against those that have (or have not) obtained Workers Compensation WorkCover are uncovering a suspect large number of businesses not complying with legislation.


The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 states an employer must have workers’ compensation insurance for anyone you employ who the legislation defines as a ‘worker’, including cover for claims at common law.


So what's an employee?

  • full-time workers on a wage or salary

  • part-time, casual and seasonal workers

  • workers on commission

  • piece workers

  • working directors (companies have an option as to whether working directors who have some ownership of the company and are ‘workers’ under the Act are to be insured)

  • contractors and subcontractors may also be defined as ‘workers’, depending on the circumstances of their working arrangement

  • worker receiving ‘payment in kind’.


I am sure the ATO and WorkCover are not going to hunt businesses down with a pitch fork but rather Educate and Assist. Penalties and infringement will only be issued if the breaches are consistent and the risk is high warranted.


If you are not sure whether your business requires Workers Compensation cover please do call our office.


Alternatively you can call WorkCover on 1300 794 744






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