Posted Under: Accounting and Taxation Posted On 17/09/2015
What Is Data Matching?
Data Matching is when the Australian Tax Office (ATO) cross-references information from other sources to ‘check’ the accuracy of tax returns of taxpayers and businesses. Last year they had more than 600 million transactions reported to them, and contacted nearly 400,000 taxpayers who had apparent discrepancies in the information they reported in their tax returns.
What Are They Looking For?
- undeclared salary and wages income
- undeclared dividend income
- undeclared interest income
- medicare levy surcharge obligations
- undeclared government benefits
- undeclared income from online selling activities eg Ebay
- incorrect claims for deductions
- capital gains tax from the disposal of shares and property
- undeclared employment-related foreign source income
- taxable government grants and payments
- payments made to contactors in the building and construction industry
- undeclared distributions from partnerships, trusts and managed funds
- The ATO are currently undertaking specific data matching with:
Where Are They Accessing Data From?
- Credit and debit cards – from banks and financial institutions
- Motor vehicle registries – to identify all motor vehicles sold, transferred or newly registered, where the transfer and/or market value was $10,000 or greater.
- Online selling – They have obtained details of online sellers who sold goods and services to the value of $10,000 or more
- Specialised payment systems like Bpay, PayPal etc.
- Government DepartmentsIf the ATO contact you in relation to a discrepancy, they will provide you with details of the discrepancy, the data that has been matched to you, and give you the opportunity to check your records and contact them if you believe they have made a mistake.
What Happens If They ‘Pick Up’ A Discrepancy?
If the ATO contact you in relation to a discrepancy, they will provide you with details of the discrepancy, the data that has been matched to you, and give you the opportunity to check your records and contact them if you believe they have made a mistake.