Briefs: Carnell decrees, Maleny MCU votes

Banking Day staff Briefs
Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell (left) confers with John Shepherd, assistant commissioner for small business at the ATO.     (Image, ASBFEO, Twitter)
Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell (left) confers with John Shepherd, assistant commissioner for small business at the ATO. (Image, ASBFEO, Twitter)
  • The Australian Taxation Office copped a hiding yesterday from Kate Carnell, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, over its debt collection practices. Carnell found that “ATO garnishee notices were issued in a sizeable number of cases where tax disputes were before Administrative Appeals Tribunal. We found ATO debt recovery action occurred in at least 12 per cent of cases before the AAT, severely impacting a small business’s resources to prosecute its case and carry on its business,” Carnell said. She chastised the ATO over the “asymmetry in power between this large and powerful organisation and the small business sector [which] has left these particular small businesses in a vulnerable position and with diminished access to justice”.