Friday, July 14, 2017

Tax blitz on lawyers, accountants

Black economy taskforce chief accuses accountants and lawyers of engineering the loss of billions in revenue by helping clients dodge taxes.
    The head of the black economy taskforce has accused accountants and lawyers of engineering the loss of billions of dollars in government revenue by helping clients dodge their tax obligations or failing to understand the extent of the avoidance problem.
    Former KPMG global chairman Michael Andrew said the taskforce had become aware of advisers who promoted schemes that put their clients' interests before the law.
    "We need to get a lot tougher," he said. "Tax agents are either assisting their clients make fraudulent claims, or are blind to techniques and systems used in the black economy."
    Mr Andrew will make final recommendations in October to the government for combating the black economy, which is estimated to be worth $30 billion and costing the nation about $2.5 billion in foregone tax revenue a year.
    The black economy, also known as the hidden or cash economy, undermines tax revenue, which leaves governments with less to spend on services like schools and hospitals, as well as disadvantaging legitimate businesses.
    The taskforce is mulling remedies such as a ban on cash transactions over $10,000 and an amnesty for cash-only businesses that agree to embrace electronic payments systems.

Get tougher on tax advisers says Black Economy Taskforce chief Mr Andrew