ATO audit right of access

June 2017

When faced with a full audit it is essential to seek professional advice. 

An authorised Australian Taxation Officer (ATO) officer has full and free access to all buildings, places, books, documents for any of the purposes of the Taxation Administration Act 1996, and for that purpose to make extracts from or copies of any such books, documents or papers.

The following matters should be considered if you receive a request for access:

With our experience in public companies who have been targeted by the ATO, the advice is all the same – don’t block the ATO, but follow them and document everything they do. 

The issue of a photocopier is a grey area – you can demand that they bring in their own or ask them to pay for copies. Judges might prefer you at least let them use your copier.

Additionally, they can’t just barge into your premises. You can request they leave and come back later as you might have appointment. However, you must be reasonable on this point – later that day or next morning if they come in late. You could also take pictures of them and their vehicle for your records.

For more information, speak to one of our TaxAssist Accountants today.