What to Expect from ATO Audits and Risk Reviews
ATO audits and risk reviews are on the rise, with JobKeeper and COVID-19 payments now on the ATO’s radar. Getting help to professionally
manage the audit will save you time, money, and can make the process easier.
ATO audits can occur at any time, and following the COVID-19 stimulus measures, we predict an increase of audit activity from the ATO.
Entities who accessed JobKeeper, early release of super and COVID-19 cashflow boost payments will be at higher risk of receiving an ATO
The ATO will initially conduct a risk review, to determine if there are compliance issues that warrant the full audit process. Often the
risk review process allows issues to be resolved quickly and simply without the need for a full audit.
If an audit is instigated, there are several stages involved. These may include an initial meeting, research, and investigation by ATO
agents and discussions with the business owner, before the ATO issues a final audit report and outcomes. Often the ATO will issue an interim
report, allowing the business owner to review their position and make comment or provide further information. The audit process can last
from 3 to 18 months.
There are several types of audits for small to medium businesses including record keeping, income tax, data comparison, superannuation
guarantee audits and the hidden economy.
What to Expect
If your business is linked with a registered tax or BAS agent, the ATO will generally liaise with them first. The business will be
assigned an ATO case officer.
The process will involve an initial interview, at which they will explain why the business was selected for an audit. The ATO
representative should give an indication of the period to be audited, the business owner’s obligations, what to expect from the ATO during
the process and an opportunity for voluntary disclosure. They will also provide the means for raising concerns during the audit or for
disputing the result of the audit.
The ATO will investigate business records such as bank statements, contracts, agreements, payroll, finance arrangements, and records of
asset purchases and disposals. Having access to complete business records will assist in the conduction of the audit.
- Personal records may also be needed if the ATO suspects significant undeclared cash income.
- For JobKeeper and COVID-19 audits, you will need to show calculations of turnover tests and employee nomination forms.
We can help proactively manage your records and get your systems and accounts into excellent shape to minimise the impact of an audit on
WDF now offer Audit Shield Insurance to our clients, which will help cover the costs associated with defending your position in the event of
If you have any questions regarding ATO audits or would like more information on our Audit Shield service – do not hesitate to get in touch
with your WDF Professional contact or phone 02 6921 5444.