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Thursday, 2 December 2004
Page: 158

Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 18 November 2004:

With reference to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the non-payment of superannuation contributions by small businesses:

(1) In cases where the ATO requires a particular number of complaints before starting an investigation, who decides how many complaints are required.

(2) What happens in cases when the employer employs only a small number of people, too few to make up the required number of complaints.

(3) How many people must complain to initiate an inquiry.

Senator Coonan (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) —As the question deals with matters administered by the Australian Taxation Office, I have asked the Commissioner of Taxation for advice. The advice to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) There is no particular number of complaints required to initiate an investigation against an employer. The ATO treats each individual complaint seriously and therefore seeks to actively resolve each individual instance of a complaint being lodged. Therefore, an employer will be audited resulting from an employee complaint, irrespective of the number of employees that initiate the complaints.

(2) and (3) Refer to answer (1)