Small Biz Matters

How can the ATO help you and your small business navigate the uphill battle? With special guest Andrew Watson, Assistant Commissioner – Small Business Experience, Australian Tax Office

March 16, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #199 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 16 March 2021

The silver bullet vaccines are being rolled out and the economy appears to slowly be getting back on its feet. But a recovery for small business is unique and much more unpredictable than that of our larger counterparts.

Remember that we span all sectors of the economy, all geographical regions of this huge country, all spaces available; and across all cultures and diversity our society is made up of. It is difficult to pigeonhole us at all beyond being “small business”.

Given that there are complex issues including stock to replenish, staff to re-train, premises to re-configure and budgets to re-evaluate it’s a huge task to wrangle us as a group let alone provide the support, and administer the government’s stimulus measures.

So how does an agency the size of the ATO manage this and still keep in touch with the unique and complex needs of small business?

This week we welcome back to the show Andrew Watson; Assistant Commissioner of the ATO to explain what stimulus measures are being administered by the ATO and what plans the ATO has in place to support small business in particular when navigating a recovery that effects us all.

  • In 2020, the government announced a number of stimulus measures to help businesses deal with the impact of COVID.

    • Can small businesses still access any of these?
    • What is the ATO responsible for as opposed to other agencies?
    • Who are the best people to ask for advice on these matters?
  • Now that we’re into 2021 and the COVID vaccine is starting to roll out, we can only hope that lock downs are a thing of the past, and businesses can look to getting back to normal. What should small businesses do to start their COVID recovery?

    • What are the mistakes the ATO witnessed from the GFC that small businesses can perhaps learn from?
    • In terms of what the ATO would like to see, what should small business do to avoid red flags?

To find out more go to their website:

About our Speaker:

Andrew Watson is an Assistant Commissioner for the Australian Taxation Office in the Small Business line. He is currently responsible for understanding how small businesses engage with the tax and super systems, collaborating with small businesses, industry groups and government agencies to shape the client experience and drive improved digital services. His area also helps small businesses manage cash-flow and digital readiness so sustainable and viable businesses can thrive, and advocates for small businesses within the ATO.

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