Beware -Tax reviews and audits
The ATO has been active in data collection and data matching activities targeting areas of high non-compliance and high-risk revenue areas using industry comparisons or analysis of data on tax returns. If taxpayers are found to have understated their assessable income or overstated their deductions, penalties are imposed.
Legislation was passed to introduce third party, reporting of real property, shares and units, business transactions made through payment systems and government grants and payments data.
ATO has started receiving data reporting of:
- Transfers of real property by State and territory Revenue and Land Titles Offices from 1 July 2016.
- Government grants and payments made to ABN holders and payments for services provided from 1 July 2017.
- Business transactions made through payment systems. Administrators of payment systems are required to report transactions they facilitate on behalf a business from 1 July 2017.
- Transfers of reportable securities and units in a unit trust. Data on transactions involving shares or units collected from the Australian Security and Investment Commission (from 1 July 2016), stockbrokers, share registries, trustees and fund managers (from 1 July 2017).
The ATO is targeting certain behaviours and activities that are possible abuse of the tax and superannuation systems.
For individual taxpayers, the ATO is paying particular attention to:
- claims for work-related expenses that are unusually high relative to others across comparable industries and occupations
- excessive rental property expenses
- non-commercial rental income received for holiday homes
- interest deductions claimed for the private proportion of loans
- people who have registered for GST but are not actively carrying on a business.
- ensuring all taxable income received is reported, such as capital gains on the sale of shares or rental properties.
For small businesses, the ATO is paying particular attention to:
- identifying and dealing with dishonest businesses who intentionally seek an unfair advantage by hiding income (cash and electronic payments) or deliberately avoiding their obligations by failing to register, keep records and/or lodge accurately
- businesses that report outside of the small business benchmarks for their industry
- employers not deducting and/or not remitting the PAYG withholding from employee wages
- employers not paying the super guarantee
- businesses registered for GST but not actively carrying on a business
- failure to lodge activity statements
- incorrect and under reporting of sales.
If you have a query regarding your reporting obligations or require assistance with your tax returns contact one of our Tax Accountants on (02) 9223 9166 to discuss. Alternatively, you can submit an online enquiry form.