Every accountant knows that reviews or audits of your client’s tax returns or financial compliance obligations can sometimes be unavoidable. When an audit hits, this is rarely a reflection of the work put into preparing the return and is more often due to a specific crackdown by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or other State & Federal government revenue authorities.

This could be through a variety of data matching or other artificial intelligence sources used to assist in initiating audit activity of your client’s lodged returns. These methodologies have proven to work very well and there are no signs to show that the ATO or other State & Federal government revenue authorities with ease up on these.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw a temporary lull in some of the ATO and other State & Federal government revenue authorities’ usual audit activity levels. However, the data we have obtained shows that overall audit activity was still prevalent. We also noted a new audit category related to JobKeeper payment audits that accounted for a high proportion of audit activity.