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ATO data-matching tool set to track tax evasion very closely

taxWith ATO’s data-matching tool set to report any tax-omissions, taxpayers will come under constant scrutiny, reports Larry Schlesinger. In his article for the Property Observer, he suggests how there will be a complete tab on the residential and commercial property sales from here on and nearly 10.4 million taxpayers will have to toe the ATO line (unfailingly).

 

Till the recent past, this was not the case and many discrepancies and omissions could not be read that well. However, things are changing and it is going to be one smart change. Using Data-matching tool worth $800 million (including all the costs that may be incurred over a 7-year period) and installing high-end computer technologies, ATO will be able to fetch any transaction detail through revenue offices and land and property departments.

ATO to tap hidden properties

Only last year, about 649 million data were brought under the radar. This figure will increase in a big way in a short while. With full aid from Deutsche, HSBC and other big names, ATO will extract any hushed-up income or hidden overseas properties. Hence a timely reminder- if you have bought any property that’s not out in the open, it is not worth keeping it hidden in a closet anymore-after all, tax fines may erode any capital gains made on these properties.

Special caution for Thoroughbred investors

The data-matching tool will be fully adept in gathering debit and credit sales data and thus figuring out any case of under-reporting. Their efforts will not be restricted to properties. Medicare and medical insurances will come under their arc as well. In fact, those investing in the horse racing industry are doubly cautioned, says Schlesinger. ATO can however be a boon for veterans; those availing tax rebates, meant for dependents, will be benefitted through ATO’s initiative.

In the final run

Schlesinger gives a fair amount of idea how data-matching may reinterpret our sense of transactions. I feel that the ATO has already showed its designs by punishing those who have not abided with GST system. Any misreporting of cash-in-hand income has also resulted in sentences. It’s a great idea to ensure that law-abiding citizens do not have to pay for the tax evading lot. If cooperation from third-parties keeps continuing, government agencies may be able to bring many more tax culprits on the right side of the line.

Have you ensured your position on the right side of the tax fence?