While small businesses and innocent taxpayers have been aggressively pursued by the ATO, generous amnesties have been granted to those with foreign bank accounts who owe the government billions, according to a bombshell report from Self-Employed Australia.

Ordinary taxpayers have been left hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket, sometimes on the back of basic administrative errors, as the ATO has aggressively pursued claims, destroying people’s livelihoods and coercing many into paying up to avoid the threat and cost of protracted legal action. To make matters worse, the ATO is able to seize payment from those it accuses of tax evasion without having to prove to an independent court or tribunal that a debt is even owed, by using garnishee orders which simply take funds out of people’s superannuation and personal bank accounts.

That’s right – ordinary taxpayers have fewer rights than accused murderers in Australia.

Meanwhile, the ATO has failed to pursue up to $4.3 billion in unpaid taxes from foreign bank accounts, after granting one of the most generous amnesties in the world.

It is hypocritical and perverse that small businesses and ordinary taxpayers are being shaken down using draconian powers with little accountability, while amnesties are provided to those who owe substantially more.

When small businesses decide to fight back and win in court, they are often left worse off with mounting legal bills and paltry compensation offers.

When whistle-blowers expose their unethical culture and practices, the ATO simply fires them.


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