Road Freight Coming Under the ATO’s Scrutiny

road freight coming under the ATO’s scrutiny

Changes in the Taxable Payments Reporting System will see an increase in road freight coming under the ATO’s scrutiny.

According to the Australian Taxation Office, a fair and transparent tax system means a level playing field for everyone. The Taxable Payments Reporting System (TPRS) has been developed to create a level playing field allows honest businesses to compete fairly. 

ATO figures suggest the black economy costs the community as much as $50 billion every year, which puts pressure on Australians who are doing the right thing. In 2015-16, the TPRS helped protect $2.7billion being lost to the black economy in the building and construction industry alone.

The TPRS now also applies to businesses providing road freight and courier services, even if it is only part of their business activities. 

Under the TPRS, if you provide these services and you pay contractors to perform them on your behalf, you need to report the payments (including cash) made to the contractors. The ATO then uses this information to check that the contractors are reporting all their income.


road freight coming under the ATO’s scrutiny

The Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) is due by August 28 each year. ATO Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt has handy tips for businesses to help make completing the TPAR quick and easy:

  • “If you’re not sure whether you need to complete a TPAR or if you have questions, follow our three-step guide at the ATO website  or you can talk to your registered tax professional.” 
  • “Make sure you’re keeping the right records for each contractor – their name, address, ABN, and the total amount you paid them, including any GST. The ATO is committed to helping you understand and meet your obligations and has new record-keeping guidance required for your TPAR for businesses needing to complete a TPAR.”
  • “If you use accounting software, check if it’s TPAR-ready. Talk to your software provider if you are unsure. If you don’t have TPAR-ready accounting software, visit the ATO website for a simple worksheet that can help you to record the information.”
  • “If your business provides a range of services – known as ‘mixed services’ – you may need to report if payments you received for TPRS services make up 10 per cent or more of your total GST turnover, even if your business isn’t registered for GST.”

Importantly, if you’ve been affected by a disaster such as a cyclone, flood, bushfire or storm, the ATO understands that your priority at this time is your family and community. If you have been impacted, visit the ATO’s dedicated webpage, Bushfires 2019–20  or phone 1800 806218.