Navigating the ATO’s Increased Scrutiny


In 2024, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) intensified its efforts to crack down on tax evasion and ensure compliance. For small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Western Sydney, this heightened scrutiny means it’s more important than ever to stay on top of tax obligations and maintain impeccable records. This article offers practical tips to help your business remain compliant and avoid penalties during this period of increased ATO vigilance.

Understanding the ATO’s Focus Areas

The ATO has identified several key areas of focus for 2024, including:

  • Cash Economy: Businesses that predominantly deal in cash transactions.
  • Work-Related Expenses: Scrutinising exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims.
  • Superannuation Compliance: Ensuring timely and accurate super contributions.
  • Digital Transactions: Monitoring online sales and digital payment platforms.

Practical Tips for Staying Compliant

  1. Maintain Accurate and Complete Records
    • Ensure all financial transactions are accurately recorded and backed by appropriate documentation, such as receipts, invoices, and bank statements. Use accounting software to organise and store these records securely.
  2. Report Income Correctly
    • Report all income accurately, including cash and digital transactions. The ATO uses data-matching technology to cross-check reported income with third-party data, so discrepancies can easily be detected.
  3. Keep Up with BAS and Tax Return Lodgements
    • Timely lodgement of your Business Activity Statements (BAS) and annual tax returns is crucial. Mark key dates on your calendar and set reminders to ensure you don’t miss deadlines.
  4. Accurate Work-Related Expense Claims
    • Only claim legitimate work-related expenses that you can substantiate with evidence. The ATO is closely examining claims for work-related expenses, so ensure you have documentation to support all deductions.
  5. Superannuation Compliance
    • Make superannuation contributions for your employees by the required deadlines. Use the ATO’s SuperStream standard to pay super contributions electronically and keep records of all payments.
  6. Monitor Cash Transactions
    • If your business handles a significant amount of cash, implement internal controls to track cash flow accurately. This includes reconciling daily sales with cash received and maintaining a clear paper trail.
  7. Utilise Digital Reporting Tools
    • Leverage digital tools and platforms to ensure accurate reporting of sales and income. Many accounting software solutions integrate with payment platforms, simplifying the tracking and reporting process.

Seek Professional Guidance

Navigating tax compliance can be complex, especially with the ATO’s increased scrutiny. Engaging a professional accountant or tax advisor can provide peace of mind and ensure your business is meeting all its obligations. At Carmody Accounting and Business Advisory, we offer expert guidance and support to help you stay compliant and optimise your tax strategy.


Staying compliant during this period of increased ATO scrutiny requires diligence, accurate record-keeping, and a proactive approach to managing your tax obligations. By following these practical tips and seeking professional advice, your business can navigate the complexities of tax compliance and avoid costly penalties. For personalised assistance and expert advice, contact Carmody Accounting and Business Advisory today.


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