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providers in Australia

ATO focus on RTO-trainer contracts

Tuesday, January 28 2014

As part of their regular audit program, the Australian Taxation Office is conducting audits of Registered Training Organisations nationally. Members have reported that one area of focus for the ATO has been the nature of employment contracts with trainers and assessors. Many RTOs employ contract trainers with ABNs on a sessional basis to deliver one-off courses or a complete training program, with contractors responsible for superannuation guarantee payments, income tax and any insurance obligations.

The ATO has questioned the nature of some RTO-contractor relationships, where contract trainers are working consistently for the same RTO to deliver consecutive training programs. RTOs have reported that the ATO has imposed financial penalties and requirements for back payment of PAYG tax and superannuation guarantee payments where they view a contractor as providing ongoing and regular services to the RTO, in the same way as a member of staff who is an employee.

The ATO has more  information on their website about the employer-contractor relationship and your obligations, as well as an Employee/Contractor decision tool to assist you.

There is also a set of questions to assist you in ensuring you are meeting your obligations. For specific advice about your RTO’s circumstances, check with your taxation advisor and the ATO.


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