Technology, Tax and Going Electronic – Part 1

June 2019 | Accounting & Tax

Big Brother is watching your Tax Moves! What it means for you!

It’s no secret that the ATO are working towards watching every move that individuals and businesses are making by using technology and data matching numerous and varied sources of information.

Recent announcements by the ATO and the Federal Government will lead to an increase in audit activity. As announced in the Federal Budget, the government will provide $1 billion over four years from 2019-20 to the ATO to extend the operation of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce and to expand the Taskforce’s programs and market coverage.

Last week, ATO deputy commissioner Deborah Jenkins announced that the tax office will launch a new black economy hotline on 1 July 2019, giving the public an opportunity to dob in businesses “offer[ing] discounts for cash”.

ATO commissioner Chris Jordan has also hinted towards a $10 billion tax gap in the small business sector, significantly larger than the corporate tax gap at $1.8 billion, and the individuals who aren’t in business tax gap, at $8.7 billion.

On the individual front, the tax office also recently applied to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to hold on to lifestyle assets data from insurers for a further two years. The ATO has already stated that it will be looking at people whose lifestyle appears lavish but their declared income in their tax return doesn’t reflect that. They’ll be collecting data from various sources and reviewing bank data, as well as scouring taxpayers’ social media platforms to check for posts or photos, where they can view people’s lifestyles and match that back to their reported taxable income.

Important information and disclaimer

This publication has been prepared by AustAsia Group, including AustAsia Accounting Services Pty Ltd (Registered Tax Agent No 7587 3005).

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on the information contained in this document as the basis for making any financial investment, insurance or other decision. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

Information in this publication is accurate as at the date of writing, 18 June 2019. Some of the information may have been provided to us by third parties. Whilst it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, the accuracy of that information is not guaranteed in any way.

Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither the Licensee nor any member of AustAsia Group, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility, for any errors or omissions in this document.

Any general tax information provided in this publication is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.

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