Artboard 1Icon/UI/CalendarIcons/Ionic/Social/social-pinterestIcon/UI/Video-outline

Next 5000 Findings Report identifies key errors common to many private groups

14 December 2021


Published by:

Next 5000 Findings Report identifies key errors common to many private groups

The ATO has published its Next 5,000 Findings Report documenting key findings from reviews undertaken to date. 250 reviews involving transactions, activities and events with a value of nearly $7 billion have been finalised. Importantly, transactions, activities and events with a value of $5.8 billion (more than 80 per cent) were identified as having “significant activities or issues that required review”. Of the cases with issues, around 25 per cent involved recommendations for client action on tax governance, and 20 per cent were escalated to audit.

The main issues that have been escalated to audit include:

  • trust issues, including non-complying Division 7A loans and undocumented distributions
  • reclassifying capital losses as revenue losses and lack of record keeping to support loss claims
  • non-arm’s length arrangements, including the sale of a property to related parties for less than market value
  • incorrect characterisations of property sales on capital account to access the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount
  • variances in reporting of income and expenses between tax returns and business activity statements (BAS)
  • incorrect GST treatment on restructures, investments and merger and acquisition activity.

Recommended action

Clearly, you (or in the case of advisers, your clients) don’t want to be one of the 80 per cent with issues or 20 per cent referred to audit. 

To avoid that, you must prepare now. Some key first steps:

  • implement a documented tax governance framework
  • check the tax health of your tax trust compliance. Have all loans, including those via interposed entities, been considered? Have complying trust resolutions of distribution been executed? Have purported payments been ‘paid’ rather than evidenced by journal entries?
  • review the tax treatment of all key transactions and validate the tax treatment
  • reconcile your BAS and tax returns.

How can we help?

Let us know if you need an independent firm to review these issues for your group or your clients. It is best to identify potential problems before a review starts as it gives you the opportunity to implement a strategy to minimise risk and, if necessary, to make a voluntary disclosure to protect your position and manage penalties.

If you require more information about the ATO’s private wealth compliance programs, or would like assistance in risk management or engagement with the ATO, please contact a member of our team or send us your inquiry here.

Author: Sue Williamson

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

Published by:

Share this