Tuesday, 09 May 2017 08:26

Payroll firm says sorting out ATO issues to pay contractors

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A payroll company that serves Australian IT contractors says it is making progress in sorting out its issues with the Australian Taxation Office and hopes to be able to pay contractors soon.

"We are pleased to report that the ATO is working with us in good faith towards a resolution whereby all our contractors can be paid," the company said.

On Friday, Plutus had posted a notice on its website saying that it was taking court action against the ATO for having frozen its bank accounts since 27 April.

In the message, the company said: "Our dispute is with the Australian Taxation Office who believe that Plutus owes the ATO money.

"Acting in a draconian and unfair manner, the ATO froze Plutus’ bank accounts on 27 April without prior warning or any consultation.

"We received no notice of intention to audit, no complaint and no other advance warning of non-compliance from the ATO. When the ATO acted, without notice, they froze our bank accounts - and we became unable to pay our contractors the money owed to them."

In today's notice, Plutus said: "We would have preferred to have had the opportunity to address the ATO's concerns before they took the action they did - so that we could have better protected your interests.

"But today we appreciate that the ATO shares our concern that our contractors, as third parties to our dispute with the ATO, are not disadvantaged while we work through the resolution of that dispute."

It said it was presently providing further information to the ATO about the amounts that were due to contractors.

"Plutus and the ATO are hopeful that a practical resolution and payment of those amounts can be made in the coming days. This positive turn of events is encouraging and we commit to continuing to provide you with updates as we work through the details of this practical resolution," the company added.

"Once we have resolved the issue of the amounts due to our contractors with the ATO, Plutus intends to continue to work with the ATO to resolve our dispute through their internal objection process."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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