With the prevalent focus on increasing audit activity, it is more likely than ever that you could be audited. Audit Shield service provides for the payment of professional fees incurred in the event that you are selected for an audit, enquiry, investigation or review by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or other government body, in relation to lodged returns. The cost of being properly represented in these matters can be quite considerable depending on the length of time involved in the investigation. Even the simplest enquiry can require hours of work.
All professional fees up to a prescribed limit (with no excess) are covered when you engage Audit Shield service in audit activity matters. Fees, legal fees, bookkeeping fees and other specialist professional advisor fees are covered. Audit Shield also provides retrospective cover so that all previously lodged returns are included in the coverage.
The list is extensive as to what is covered under Audit Shield. Income Tax, GST and BAS, Superannuation Guarantee, PAYG Withholding, Fringe Benefits Tax, Payroll Tax, Land Tax, Stamp Duty, WorkCover and Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) are just a few that are included.
Is Audit Shield service right for you?
All of our clients can take advantage of the Audit Shield service. Different levels of cover are available for salary earners, businesses and SMSFs.
Anyone can be targeted, even if their lodgements are accurate, and this is no reflection on the quality of work from your accountant. With all of this in mind, we offer you the opportunity to protect yourself with our Audit Shield service.
If you would like peace of mind and coverage in the event of audit activity, please ask your accountant or one of our friendly team members about our Audit Shield service.
Case Studies of Audit Activity:
Australian taxpayers, in the form of businesses, individuals and Self Managed Superannuation Funds, are constantly finding themselves at the mercy of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or
other government agencies for the purpose of audits, enquiries, investigations or reviews.
Below are a few examples of Audit Shield clients who had lodgements which were thorough and honest, however were still sought after by the ATO. Luckily they all had Audit Shield in place to avoid the costly ramifications!
Type: Payroll Tax Investigation
End Result: Fees of $8,801 were fully covered by Audit Shield.
A Queensland based entity was selected in respect of whether or not the right amount of payroll tax was paid and whether grouping was relevant. All enquiries with regard to grouping were satisfactorily responded to but the client was still found to have slightly understated one contractor payment and some minor superannuation which resulted in the authority issuing an assessment for $1,553.
Type: Stamp Duty Enquiry
End Result: Fees of $1,210 were fully covered by Audit Shield.
The matter was in respect of a Deed of Settlement which the OSR were arguing should have been subject to Stamp Duty for this Western Australia based Audit Shield user. It was deemed that Stamp Duty should have been paid on the transaction and an assessment was issued for $13,490. Penalties were successfully argued down to nil.
Type: Income Tax (CGT) Review
End Result: Fees of $9,625, including $1,671 of legal fees, were fully covered by Audit Shield.
A review of the use of CGT Small Business Concessions on a gain of around $5 million reduced down to around $450,000 was conducted on a Tasmanian based client.
After providing all the responses and obtaining some legal advice to further validate the client’s position, the outcome was that the ATO accepted the returns as lodged.
Type: Land Tax Audit
End Result: Fees of $2,708 were fully covered by Audit Shield.
A New South Wales based client completed a questionnaire in regards to his land holdings to be used to determine whether he is liable for Land Tax.
The outcome was that property was found not to be primary production land and the client was assessed for $,300 worth of Land Tax.
Type: Employer Obligations Audit
End Result: Fees of $7,374 were fully covered by Audit Shield.
A Victorian based client was picked due to a data-matching flag where the ATO believed the employees had claimed more PAYG withholding than the employer had reported.
Although the issue of the mismatch of PAYG withholding was cleared, the client was found to not have paid the correct amount of superannuation and was assessed for $4,083 in Superannuation Guarantee Charge.