Going global: Is the ATO set to make it easier to do business overseas?

Going global: The ATO is developing agreements with other nations that allow for more taxation transparency.

The market for businesses in Australia is incredibly varied. After all, the country has a number of hubs of innovation dotted around its various regions. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to name but a few have become powerhouse business centres on these shores, and are more than capable of holding their own against other economic hubs in the wider Asia Pacific.

However, what can businesses do when they hit their ceiling in Australia? It's a problem that even small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) face. Most great products, services and offerings will be a success wherever they're sold geographically, providing the business has the means to do so.

In terms of tax accounting and finance, establishing partnerships with suppliers, other companies and consumers across the globe may seem daunting, but a new initiative launched by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) could soon change that.

Increasing transparency

The ATO is set to automatically share tax information with the applicable authorities in the US to begin with, while the overarching aim remains to establish global transparency.

Doing business over borders can be tough from a financial perspective. There are the currency exchanges to consider, as well as various import and export duties.

Ultimately, any kind of agreement that makes it easier for those in charge of tax to monitor transactions, and ensure that they are carried out fairly, is what's really needed.

A global issue

Paying the correct level of tax may seem like a burden at times, but sticking to the rules is imperative in keeping the country's economy stable, while also not falling foul of the applicable legislation.

In fact, after the ATO investigated a number of foreign entities and individuals operating on these shores, it discovered $255 million in tax liabilities across 2014-2015 alone.

Ultimately, doing business overseas can be manageable and profitable for a raft of Australian businesses. Fortunately, the government – and the ATO in particular – is actively looking at ways to streamline the process from a financial perspective.

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