The taxman wants a talk and I’m terrified. Help!

Dear Aunty,

I’m quietly sh-tting myself. The ATO has been in touch about my tax debt and I’ve got no idea what to tell them.

The truth is that I’ve been having a few real cashflow issues with slow payers and I’ve been hoping that things would turn around. They haven’t yet, although I am confident I can get things sorted.

But are the ATO going to rip my head off?




Dear Worried,

You should be. Sorry, but it’s just not good that the ATO have had to come to you, rather than you going to them cap in hand.

The ATO have made a point of working with companies that actually come to them, explain their issues and agree to a course of action. The ATO is not fond of companies that do the wrong thing and then try to explain it away with a sob story. And, frankly, yours isn’t even a good sob story.

If I was you, I’d be going into this meeting with a plan. Acknowledge your sins and explain to the ATO officials how you are tackling the problem. You should have a timetable that sets out when things will be back under control and some points about how you are going to prevent this from happening again.

I can’t guarantee this will work, but it gives you the best chance of minimising any damage.

Be smart,

Aunty B

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