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Businesses can expect fair treatment.



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20 October, 2000

Businesses Can Expect Fair Treatment Businesses lodging their first quarterly Business Activity Statement (BAS) by November 11 will receive fair treatment from the Australian Taxation Office. "Claims that small business faces large penalties over the BAS are completely baseless," Liberal Senator Brian Gibson said today. "The Government’s approach is to work with small business and their representatives to continue to make the transition as smooth as possible, not to penalise them," he said.

Senator Gibson urged Tasmanian businesses to take advantage of the huge range of assistance available to them from the Federal Government in meeting their new tax system obligations.

"The Tax Office has a number of support strategies for people preparing their BAS for the first time" Senator Gibson said. "It is fully recognised that small business in particular, and tax agents, have much work to do in making this transition. However, as the Tax Commissioner has said repeatedly, businesses and their agents who make a genuine attempt to meet their new tax obligations can expect fair treatment," he added.

"Online assistance is available at www.taxreform.ato.gov.au, where copies of the BAS instruction booklet and other help tools can be accessed. These can be found on the new web page entitled "Help with your BAS". A number of electronic products are available at the site, including educational tools that will help forecast BAS payments and cash flow impacts, produce payment timetables, and even a guided tutorial of the BAS form itself."

"Help is also available by calling 13 24 78 to get specific answers to questions."

"ATO field officers are still available to provide one-on-one assistance to organisations that have to fill in a BAS. A personal visit can be easily arranged, also by calling 13 24 78," Senator Gibson said. "In addition, industry and training organisations are currently delivering workshops that provide practical exercises on how to complete the BAS," he added.

Senator Gibson also reminded businesses of the Government’s commitment to ensure that all businesses, individuals and organisations have the information they need to prepare and lodge their statements. "The Tax Office will offer a one-on-one consultation at fourteen Service Tasmania sites across the state during BAS Help Week from November 1 to November 8," Senator Gibson said. 

"During this week, smaller businesses will be offered free practical advice if, notwithstanding their best efforts, they still have questions that need to be answered." Appointments can be booked for BAS Help Week by calling 1300 138 990.

"However, if any business or agent is experiencing difficulties at any time, they should contact the Tax Office to make suitable arrangements, " Senator Gibson added.

Media enquiries:     Senator Gibson     1800-672-705