ATO WARNING for small business: SmartCompany, June 21, 2017 reported: “On Tuesday Assistant Taxation Commissioner Kath Anderson informed Australians the ATO will continue to use real-time data to compare each individual claim against others in their profession and income bracket to identify higher than normal claims for travel, internet, and self-education expenses.” (Read report below)

SCAM ALERTS! : SmartCompany, June 20, 2017 reports a scam alert: “Business owners are likely to be familiar with classic email phishing scams asking for things like login credentials, credit card details, or payment to renew a company name, but a recent attack impersonating Paypal has stepped it up a notch by asking for selfies.” (Read report below)

SmartCompany, June 22, 2017 reported another scam currently doing the rounds: ‘Massive Origin Energy scam email sent to a quarter of Australian businesses’ “An estimated one in four Australian businesses have been sent a scam email purporting to be from Origin Energy this week, with experts labeling it one of the largest email attacks ever seen.” (Read report below)

JOAN OF ARC: The crusade by Penny Vickers has produced some startling revelations as brought to light by Grace Collier in her article reported in The Weekend Australian, June 17, 2017, under the heading ‘Coles EBA: when a wage deal is a false bargain’ (Copied below): “The company’s EBA pays the bulk of its workforce below the award wage, perhaps by $70 million a year.

In October, the full bench of the FWC will hear Vickers’s application. In preliminary hearings, legal obstructions have been thrown at Vickers, but she has continued to roll forward, undeterred. At every appearance, the Coles legal team is ever in retreat, like children waving toy swords before the gun barrel of a steadily advancing Sherman tank.

“After the most recent hearing two weeks ago, Fairfax reported the Coles lawyer, Stuart Wood QC, made a stunning concession: he “indicated that much of the Coles workforce — up to 60 per cent — would be better off if they were paid minimum award rates”.”

What is interesting, this is the discredited EBA that was peddled by the Shoppies (SDA) union to the big end of town retailers as being the panacea for all workplace arrangements, and endorsed as such by a Minister for Small Business in the Barnett Government, but the union in the Vickers’ case seems to have gone to ground, no mention is made of the union. They seem to have left Coles holding the baby. Surprise! Surprise!

ASIC’s CASH GRAB: SmartCompany reported on June 16, 2017: On Thursday the senate passed the ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery legislation without amendment, which is set to raise around two-thirds of the corporate regulator’s more than $300 million budget each year, with companies to pay an annual fee based on their size and their status as public or private companies.

It is clear that this cash grab is going hit all constitutional corporations (‘Pty Ltd’ companies) including small businesses who would be well advised to discuss this impost with their accountants.