The ATO is undertaking a number of data matching programs that may impact you as an individual taxpayer depending on what sort of activities you have been engaged in. Should you have any concerns about these data matching programs or have received correspondence from the ATO about any of them, you should speak with your tax adviser.
1) Real property transactions – Data matching program
The ATO has announced that it will acquire details of real property transactions for the period 20 September 1985 to 30 June 2017 from State and Territory revenue and land titles departments and offices and rental bond authorities in every State and Territory in Australia: Australian Government Gazette No C2015G02019 (8 December 2015).
The objectives of this data matching program are to:
- obtain intelligence about the acquisition and disposal of real property and identify risks and trends of non-compliance across the broader compliance program;
- identify a range of compliance activities appropriate to address risks with real property transactions by taxpayers;
- work with real property intermediaries to obtain an understanding of the risks and issues, as well as trends of non-compliance;
- gain support and input into compliance strategies to minimise future risk to revenue;
- promote voluntary compliance and strengthen community confidence in the integrity of the tax system by publicising the outcomes of the data matching program; and
- ensure compliance with registration, lodgment, correct reporting and payment of taxation and superannuation obligations.
2) Data matching on insurance asset classes
The ATO is currently working with insurance providers to identify policy owners on a wider range of asset classes. These asset classes include:
- enthusiast motor vehicles;
- fine art; and
- thoroughbred horses.
The purpose of the ATO obtaining this information is to gain a better understanding of certain taxpayers’ wealth and to help the ATO to provide tailored services to taxpayers to ensure they meet their tax obligations.
During January and February, the ATO will issue formal notices to insurers to provide the ATO with these policy details. The ATO anticipates it will receive 100,000 records where the different asset classes meet certain threshold amounts.
3) Ride sourcing – data matching program
The ATO has given notice of a data matching program pursuant to which it will acquire data to identify individuals that may be engaged in providing ride sourcing services during the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years: Commonwealth Gazette C2015G01623 (7 October 2015).
Details of all payments to ride sourcing providers from identified accounts held by ride sourcing facilitators with various financial institutions will be requested for those financial years. Ride sourcing facilitators provide an electronic platform enabling members of the public to engage the services of a ride sourcing provider (eg, a driver).
The data acquired will be electronically matched with certain sections of ATO data holdings to identify taxpayers that can be provided with tailored information to help them meet their tax obligations, or to ensure compliance with taxation law.
The ATO will obtain the following data items from the source entities:
- payee account name;
- payee BSB;
- payee account number;
- date of payment to the payee; and
- amount of payment to the payee.
4) Online selling – data matching program
The ATO has given notice of a data matching program under which it will acquire online selling data relating to registrants who sold goods and services to a value of $10,000 or more during the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015: Commonwealth Gazette C2015G01628 (8 October 2015).
Data will be sought from eBay Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of eBay International AG which owns and operates www.ebay.com.au.
The data requested will include information that enables the ATO match online selling accounts to a taxpayer, including name, address and contact information as well as information on the number and value of transactions processed for each online selling account. This acquired data will be electronically matched with certain sections of ATO data holdings to identify possible non-compliance with taxation law.
It is estimated that records relating to between 15,000 and 25,000 individuals will be matched.
5) Visa holders, sponsors and migration agents – data matching program
The ATO has given notice of a data matching program under which the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will provide the ATO with names, addresses and other details of visa holders, their sponsors and migration agents for the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years: Commonwealth Gazette C2015G01712 (21 October 2015).