Australia – ATO Ratchets Up Data-Matching Program

Australia – ATO Ratchets Up Data-Matching Program

An announcement was made on 4 August 2015, by the Commissioner of Taxation that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be performing comprehensive data matching by acquiring information from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The purpose of this program is to establish that taxpayers are correctly meeting their taxation obligations which include registration, lodgement, reporting, and payment responsibilities. Over 1 million individuals who have either been granted visas in the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015, or who will be granted visas in the period up to 30 June 2017, are being targeted. With the proposed number of affected individuals in excess of 1 million, it is likely that many employers and migration agents will have visa holders who will be targeted under this program.

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The Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) is targeting over 1 million individuals who have either been granted visas in the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015, or who will be granted visas in the period up to 30 June 2017.1

WHY THIS MATTERS

With the proposed number of affected individuals in excess of 1 million, it is likely that many employers and migration agents will have visa holders who will be targeted under this program.  It is therefore crucial that employers and visa holders be vigilant and take appropriate steps to meet their existing and future obligations.  Organizations should review their processes around compliance and the compliance of their employees. 

ATO’s Data Matching Program

An announcement was made on 4 August 2015, by the Commissioner of Taxation that the ATO will be performing comprehensive data matching by acquiring information from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (“DIBP”).2  The purpose of this program is to establish that taxpayers are correctly meeting their taxation obligations which include registration, lodgement, reporting, and payment responsibilities.

The ATO has already been data matching visa data from DIBP and its predecessors for a number of years.  In its analysis of data about visas granted between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2014, the ATO identified an elevated level of risk relating to non-compliance and fraud, driving the announced expanded program.

It is intended that this the data will be used in ATO risk detection models to select populations for administrative action relating to tax return integrity, income tax and goods and services tax non-compliance and fraud.  Targeting these populations is intended to encourage taxpayers (sponsors and visa holders) to:

  • complete correct tax returns and business activity statements;
  • meet registration, lodgement, reporting, and payment obligations for PAYG withholding, fringe benefits tax, and superannuation guarantee; and
  • correctly manage tax obligations.

Where discrepancies are found, taxpayers will be given the opportunity to verify the accuracy of the information obtained by the ATO. Taxpayers will generally be given at least 28 days to respond before administrative action is taken.

Whilst the ATO as the matching and primary-user agency will generally be the sole user of the data, it may provide in very limited and specific circumstances as contained in Division 355 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953, individual records to other agencies, including state and territory revenue authorities and law enforcement agencies.  Such other agencies include those responsible for:

  • Administering social welfare, health, and safety programs for the purposes of determining eligibility for certain types of benefits and rebates;
  • Overseeing superannuation funds, corporations, and financial market operators to foster compliance with prudential regulations;
  • Determining entitlement to rehabilitation and compensation payments.

KPMG NOTE

If any organizations have concerns about the data matching program, they should contact their usual global mobility and/or immigration adviser.  The Global Mobility Services & Immigration team in the KPMG International member firm in Australia has experience in reviewing and advising on company and individual compliance obligations.  

FOOTNOTES

1  From 5.2 “Number of records” in the the ATO’s:  DIBP Visa Holders Data Matching Program

2  For the notice of the data matching program, see the ComLaw Web site (http://www.comlaw.gov.au) at: Notice .  Further details can be obtained from the ATO:  DIBP Visa Holders Data Matching Program

CONTACTS

For further information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional*, or one of the following professionals with the KPMG International member firm in Australia:

 

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory 

Andy Hutt (Tax)

Tel. +61 2 9335 8655

ahutt@kpmg.com.au

 

Michael Wall (Immigration)

Tel. +61 2 9335 8625

mwall2@kpmg.com.au

 

Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania

Ben Travers (Tax)

Tel. +61 3 9288 5279

btravers1@kpmg.com.au

 

Jacqui Tucker (Tax)   

Tel. +61 8 8236 3378  

jtucker@kpmg.com.au   

 

John Unger (Immigration) 

Tel. +61 3 9288 5725

junger@kpmg.com.au

 

Western Australia 

Ivan Hoe (Immigration)

Tel. +61 8 9263 7181

ihoe@kpmg.com  

 

Dan Hodgson (Tax)

Tel. +61 8 9278 2053

dghodgson@kpmg.com.au

 

Queensland and Northern Territory 

Hayley Lock (Tax)

Tel. +61 7 3434 9176

hlock@kpmg.com.au   

 

Philip Duncan (Immigration)

Tel. +61 7 3434 9196

pduncan1@kpmg.com.au

 

*  Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration services.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Australia. 

© 2016 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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