ATO Data Matching 2010 to the Present

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2016 – eBay sellers, ride-sourcing, card payments

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has advised that it will be collecting seller data from eBay Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd to ensure that taxpayers are correctly meeting their tax obligations. The data matching will include information relating to registrants that sold goods and services of $10,000 or more during the 2014-15 financial year, including name, address, contact information, and the number and value of transactions processed for each online selling account. The data-matching program is designed to enable the ATO to address the compliance behaviour of individuals and businesses selling goods and services via the online-selling site who may not be correctly meeting their taxation obligations, particularly those with undeclared income and incorrect lodgment and reporting for GST.

The ATO has also advised that it will be collecting data to identify individuals engaged in providing ride-sourcing services during the 2013-14 to 2015-16 financial years. Details of payments to ride-sourcing providers from identified accounts held by ride-sourcing facilitators with various financial institutions will be requested for the relevant years.

Furthermore, the ATO has stated that it will be collecting data relating to credit and debit card payments to merchants for the periods from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. The data requested will include information that enables the ATO to match merchant accounts to a taxpayer, including name, address and contact information as well as information on the number and value of transactions processed for each merchant account. This acquired data will be electronically matched with certain sections of ATO data holdings to identify possible non-compliance with taxation law. Records relating to approximately 900,000 merchant accounts are expected to be received. The number of affected individuals linked to those accounts is expected to be approximately 90,000.

2016 – Shares and Securities

The ATO has issued a notice advising that it will obtain details for the period 20 September 1985 to 30 June 2016 from various share registry services. The type of data the ATO will collect will comprise of contact details, purchase and sale details, and quantities of shares bought and disposed of.

It is projected that more than 95 million records will be obtained, including the records for approximately 1.2 million taxpayers. The records will be electronically matched against ATO records to identify non-compliance with registration, lodgment, reporting and payment obligations under taxation laws.

The ATO says the program aims to identify income tax returns that may not include accurate information relating to the disposal of shares and securities, especially in relation to CGT. Also, it has been announced that the Department of Human Services will be undertaking a new data-matching program in which data from all current recipients of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will be matched with data from the income tax returns lodged with the ATO in the last three financial years.

The data-matching will commence in July 2014. The program will assist the Department to assess a recipient’s ongoing eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. It is intended that this data-matching activity will continue on an annual basis. In addition to this, the ATO has announced that it will request and collect data relating to electronic payments made to businesses through specialised payment systems for the period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 from various entities including banks (BPAY data), PayPal, and other online payment facilities.

The ATO says the data will be matched with certain sections of ATO data holdings, including other third-party data holdings. It is expected that records relating to over 25,000 individuals will be matched. Among other things, the program aims to “provide a more level playing field for businesses that do the right thing by identifying, for corrective actions, those that may not be meeting their obligations”. The program also aims to assist the ATO in identifying liquidated or de-registered businesses that are continuing to trade.

2014 – Local Government Councils and Shire authorities

The Commissioner has announced that the ATO will obtain details of entities receiving taxable payments from various local government Councils and Shire authorities throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory.

The data-matching program covers the 2011 to 2014 financial years. The data will be electronically matched with ATO data holdings to identify non-compliance with lodgment and payment obligations under taxation law. Records relating to 20,000 to 40,000 individuals are expected to be matched. In addition to this, the ATO will request and collect data relating to credit and debit card sales of entities for the periods from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014 from various financial institutions.

The acquired data will be electronically matched with ATO data holdings to identify non-compliance with registration, reporting, lodgment and payment obligations under taxation law. It is expected that records relating to approximately 900,000 merchants will be matched.

2013 – eBay

The Department of Human Services has advised that it has requested and collected from eBay Inc the name, address, and date of birth of sellers with significant sales. The details collected will be electronically matched with specific Department data holdings to identify social welfare recipients who may not have disclosed income and assets to the Department.

Records of more than 5,000 individuals will be matched. The Department also advised that details from the Australian Business Register will be matched to identify non-compliance with income or other reporting obligations.

This appears to be an extension of the ATO’s already extensive data-matching programs aimed at those who are not reporting all their income.

2013 – Credit and Debit card sales

Data matching is an expanding program used by the ATO to identify those who are not reporting all their income. The ATO has advised that for the 2011-12 financial year it has obtained data that identifies credit and debit card sales made by Australian businesses from the following banks: Commonwealth Bank of Australia; St George Bank; American Express Australia Limited; Diners Club Australia; Westpac Banking Corporation; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited; National Australia Bank Limited; and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited.

The ATO said the data will be matched against taxpayer records to identify those taxpayers who deliberately under-report or omit income. The ATO’s goal is to make it harder for people in business who deliberately try to hide income and evade tax obligations.

2012-13 – Payments to Contractors and Coffee Suppliers and Hardware Stores

The ATO is making it harder for people in business who deliberately use cash transactions to hide income and evade tax obligations. Data matching is an expanding program used by the ATO to identify those who are not reporting all their income.

The latest target includes;

  • payments made to contractors for the 2009-10 to the 2011-12 income years by businesses audited by the ATO employer obligations area.

The ATO also revealed that this program will continue into the 2012-13 year. Records relating to approximately 75,000 individuals and entities who have received contract payments from the employers or businesses will be matched against the income reported on income tax returns.

  • coffee suppliers’ and hardware store trade account holders

The ATO will monitor information received about coffee shops buying more than 15 kilograms of coffee a week from suppliers, as well as individuals and businesses holding a hardware store trade account with annual purchases of $10,000 or more. Data on purchases and reported income will be cross-checked by the ATO to ensure that all business income is being reported.

2010 – Motor Vehicles

From 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 the ATO will obtain data from state and territory motor vehicle registering bodies which will then be matched against taxpayer records.

This is to identify those participating in the cash economy by not declaring income to deliberately avoid their tax obligations.

Data will be obtained for all motor vehicles where the transfer and/or market value is $10,000 or greater. The ATO will use this information to help in addressing potential non-compliance in the following areas – income tax – GST – FBT & superannuation.

Contact Solve Business Accountants located on the Gold Coast, Qld Australia if you need help with your business tax.

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