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TPAR due soon: is your business ready?

The taxable payments annual report (TPAR) is a report that is required to be lodged every year by businesses that have made payments to contractors for building and construction services, cleaning services, courier services, road freight services, IT services and security, investigation or surveillance services. This information is used by the ATO in data analytics to identify non-compliance with a range of tax obligations and used to pre-fill data to assist contractors to lodge correctly the first time. The TPAR for 2021–2022 is due by 28 August 2022.

Contactors or subcontractors, in the context of TPAR, also include consultants and independent contractors, who can operate in a variety of structures such as sole traders (individuals), companies, partnerships or trusts. Where the contractor has issued a business an invoice that includes both labour and materials, the total amount will need to be included in the business’s report.
However, certain payments (such as the following) will not need to be reported in the TPAR:

  • payments for materials only;
  • payments for incidental labour (ie labour was incidental to the supply of materials);
  • unpaid invoices after 30 June each year;
  • payments to workers engaged under labour hire or on-fire arrangements;
  • PAYG withholding payments;
  • payments to foreign residents for work performed in Australia which are subject to PAYG foreign resident withholding (if the payments are not subject to PAYG withholding, they will need to be reported in the TPAR);
  • payments to foreign residents for work performed overseas;
  • payments to contractors who do not quote an ABN – if an ABN is not provided, the business may be required to withhold an amount from payments and the withheld amount will then need to be reported either on the TPAR or the PAYG payment summary – withholding where ABN not quoted form, not both;
  • payments in consolidated groups; and
  • payments for private and domestic projects – if you are a homeowner building or renovating your main residence, or a business making payments to contractors for services for private purposes (eg the owner of a cleaning business asking a contractor to clean their main residence).

According to the ATO, around $11 billion a year goes missing in taxes and the TPAR system is just one of the tools used to identify non-compliance and keep things fair for all businesses. In the previous financial year, around $350 billion in payments made to 950,000 contractors was reported through the TPAR. This year, the ATO expects more than 270,000 businesses to complete the report.

TPAR information reported is used by the ATO in data analytics to identify non-compliance with a range of tax obligations, such as lodging income tax returns, reporting the correct amount of income, lodging BASs, being registered for GST when required, and using valid ABNs. This information will also flow through to pre-filling information for sole traders with contracting income, making it easier to lodge correctly the first time. Although businesses will have until 28 August to lodge their TPARs, contractors should ensure that the pre-filled information is complete and finalised before lodging, especially in cases where contracting income from a business or in general has not been reported previously.