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15,000 tip-offs as ATO black economy hotline rings hot

Black economy tip-off calls to the ATO have breached the 15,000 mark in the three months since it launched its new tax integrity centre, with cash payments and income declaration among the biggest gripes.

         

 

On 1 July, the ATO launched its new tax integrity centre, aimed at providing a single point of contact for reporting suspected or known illegal phoenix, tax evasion and black economy activity.

In its first quarter of operation, the tip-off centre has received 15,000 tip-offs, averaging 230 tip-offs a day.

The top categories of tip-offs include not declaring income; demanding cash from customers or paying workers cash in hand; lifestyles not matching a person’s income level; and not reporting sales.

Cafés and restaurants received the most attention, topping the list in terms of the total number of tip-offs received in the first quarter this year.

“We’re hearing loud and clear that people are sick and tired of this kind of dodgy behaviour. Running a small business can be a really tough gig, and when dishonest competitors are cheating the tax system by operating off the books, it’s really unfair and makes it even harder to succeed. It’s also effectively stealing from the community,” said ATO assistant commissioner Peter Holt.

“The proof is in the pudding. Our risk indicators tell us that there is a black economy problem in the café and restaurant industry and the fact that tip-offs about this industry top our list tells us that there is still more work to be done to protect honest café and restaurant owners and workers in this industry.

“Trading in cash and paying your workers in cash is perfectly legal but failing to report the income to the ATO and not paying your workers their entitlements like superannuation is not only illegal but also incredibly unfair,” he added.

“Regardless of what industry you’re in, if you’re cooking the books, your competitors and workers are probably aware of it. And they’re not hesitating to let us know about it.”

Apart from the hospitality industry, the ATO also received high volumes of tip-offs about black economy behaviour in the hairdressing and beauty, building and construction, and cleaning industries.

Tip-offs from New South Wales topped the ATO’s list, closely followed by Victoria and Queensland.

While tip-offs are private and can be anonymous, 53 per cent of people who provided a tip-off were happy to provide their contact details to the ATO.

“The fact that more and more people are willingly handing over their contact details when they give us a tip-off goes to show that the community has had enough of this kind of mischief. They want to help us uncover and deal with this behaviour,” Mr Holt said.

“A tip-off from the community could be the missing piece of the puzzle we need to successfully audit or prosecute someone who is illegally operating in the black economy, so we really value and rely on the community letting us know when something doesn’t add up.”

 

 

Jotham Lian 
31 October 2019
accountantsdaily.com.au

 

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Accounting Videos

 

Chris Wybenga

B.Bus, CA

Chris is the Managing Director of the Firm who established the practice in August 1994 and has been responsible for its growth and development since that time.

Chris has over 35-years experience in the Chartered Accountancy profession, predominantly spent in small to medium sized firms, advising both small business and individuals in areas such as taxation and accounting as well as business restructuring and superannuation advice.

Chris is active in the development of young accountants both in mentoring cadets at the Firm and lecturing in taxation for the CA Program for the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

  • 1980 – Commenced employment and part time university studies
  • 1985 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from University of Technology, Sydney
  • 1986 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 1988 – Registered as a Registered Company Auditor
  • 1994 – Established Wybenga & Partners (formerly known as Farrar & Wybenga)

Dianne Bechara

B.Bus, CA

Dianne is responsible for the day-to-day operations and administration of the practice.

Dianne has over 25-years Chartered Accountancy experience and has significant expertise in providing advice and solutions to high-net-worth individuals and their associated entities. Dianne also has considerable knowledge in the areas of taxation, business services, superannuation, and compliance.

Dianne is active in promoting gender equality in the industry through various programs and mentoring opportunities. Dianne is also committed to the development of young accountants and donates considerable time to sharing her expertise.

  • 1992 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from University of Technology, Sydney
  • 1993 – Commenced employment in acounting profession
  • 1996 – Commenced career with Wybenga & Partners
  • 1997 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 2002 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Roger Potter

B.Bus, CA

Roger is responsible for the HR aspect of the Firm, cultivating the culture, and maintaining the highly social environment we pride ourselves on.

Roger has over 30-years in the Chartered Accountancy profession and significant expertise in providing advice and solutions to small businesses and high-net-worth individuals. He also has extensive experience in the areas of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and retirement strategies.

Roger is active in the development of young accountants both in mentoring cadets at the firm and lecturing in taxation for the CA Program for the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

  • 1985 – Commenced employment and part time university studies
  • 1990 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from University of Technology, Sydney
  • 1992 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 1998 – Commenced career with Wybenga & Partners
  • 2002 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Tess Uncle

B.Sc, M.Com, CA

Tess has over 15-years experience in Chartered Firms and in this time has had a broad range of experience in superannuation, taxation, and business services. In particular, Tess has had significant experience in MYOB and assisting clients in day-to-day bookkeeping activities and periodic reporting.

Tess is responsible for the Firm’s training and development needs.

Tess is active in promoting gender equality in the industry through various programs and mentoring opportunities. Tess is also committed to the development of young accountants and donates considerable time to sharing her expertise.

  • 2001 – Commenced employment with Wybenga & Partners and part-time accountancy studies
  • 2004 – Graduated Masters of Commerce from the University of New South Wales
  • 2005 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 2007 – Promoted to Manager at Wybenga & Partners
  • 2012 – Appointed as Associate Director
  • 2016 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Adam Roberts

B.Bus, B.Sc, CA

Adam has over 13-years experience in Chartered Firms and in this time has had a broad range of experience in superannuation, taxation, and business services. In particular, Adam has had significant experience in MYOB and assisting clients with periodic management reporting.

Adam is responsible for the implementation of technology in the Firm and sourcing new areas of innovation and efficiency.

Adam is active in the development of young accountants and donates considerable time to sharing his expertise.

  • 2005 – Commenced employment with Wybenga & Partners and part-time Accountancy Studies
  • 2005 – Graduated Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Sydney
  • 2007 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from the University of Western Sydney
  • 2010 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 2010 – Promoted to Manager at Wybenga & Partners
  • 2012 – Appointed as Associate Director
  • 2016 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Accounting Cadetships

Each year we offer several school leavers or undergraduates the opportunity of beginning their career with us via an Accounting Cadetship. If you are interested in pursuing a career in accounting please read the information below.

What is an Accounting Cadetship?
An Accounting Cadetship enables you to commence your career whilst attaining the necessary university qualifications by studying part-time.

How does it work?
Generally, our cadets complete a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) or Bachelor of Business (BBus) degree at the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, or the University of Western Sydney.

The firm provides 3 hours paid study leave per week to attend University. This can either be taken at the one time or broken between days depending on the individual’s requirements. In addition, the Firm provides paid study leave for both mid-semester and end-of-year exams.

We take the work life balance very seriously at Wybenga & Partners and our cadets are encouraged to have a fulfilling life outside the office. A typical day will have you arriving at the office at around 8.30am with most days concluding at 5.30pm.

What are the benefits of an Accounting Cadetship with Wybenga & Partners?
Our cadets benefit from the following:

  • Career path – on completion of their degree our cadets have significant practical experience which will assist them in advancing their careers
  • Work helps your studies – by working full-time our cadets are able to apply their practical knowledge in the university subjects
  • Camaraderie with other cadets – the Firm has a number of cadets at various stages of their career
  • Mentoring – cadets are paired with a senior staff member who oversees their progress and training both at work and with their studies
  • Communication and feedback – the Firm has an open door policy which enables all cadets to interact with all members of staff including Directors
  • Culture – the Firm promotes a friendly social culture with a number of functions throughout the year
  • Modern environment – including ‘socialising’ areas such as pool table and break out area
  • Training – ongoing support and technical training. We also provide internal and external training on a monthly basis
  • Remuneration – working full-time provides a market salary and independence with salaries being reviewed every 6-months

What happens when I complete my degree?
The completion of your degree is the first step of what we hope to be a long and successful career with us. The next step is the commencement of your CA Program with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand whilst at the same time continuing your employment with us.

A number of cadets have progressed to Seniors, Managers, and Directors within the firm.

Who should apply?
Current Year 12 students or first/second year University Students who:

  • want to commence their career in accountancy;
  • are due to commence or are currently completing a part-time business or commerce degree at university with an accounting major;
  • want to gain valuable hands-on experience while completing their qualifications;
  • are looking for a friendly working environment;
  • are team players who display initiative;
  • have a commitment to self-development;
  • possess excellent personal presentation and communication skills; and
  • are motivated and mature minded.

How do I apply for an Accounting Cadetship?
To apply for a Cadetship position at Wybenga & Partners send us your details. Please also include in your covering letter why you wish to do a cadetship, include relevant qualities you possess, main interests / achievements, and any previous employment.

Interested candidates should initially forward a resume/covering letter of no more than 3-pages. Please provide full details of contact information (telephone or e-mail).

What if I have more questions?
For further information about our Cadetship program, please send your enquiry to info@wybengagroup.com.au

Skilled Accountants

Wybenga & Partners offers a stimulating work environment giving you the opportunity to develop your future success.

Wybenga & Partners recognises and promotes that there is more to life than work. We know that your needs change and we provide support to balance your work, academic and lifestyle pursuits.

We welcome enquires from trained accountants regarding a career with Wybenga & Partners. Please email us your details to info@wybengagroup.com.au