ATO contacts ‘at risk’ professional services firms
New guidelines for professional services firms — lawyers, architects, medical practitioners, etc — came into effect on 1 July 2022.
The guidance takes a strong stance on structures designed to divert income in a way that results in principal practitioners receiving relatively small amounts of income personally for their work and reducing their taxable income.
The ATO is now contacting professionals who they believe might be at risk. Any structural changes that need to be made to reduce risk, should be completed by the end of the 2022-23 financial year.
Where the ATO deems that income has been diverted inappropriately to create a tax benefit, they will remove that benefit and significant penalties may apply.