The ATO continues to identify people who deliberately avoid their tax obligations or who may not be declaring all their income. By obtaining data from the state and territory motor vehicle registering bodies, the ATO matches the data against taxpayer records to identify those participating in the cash economy.

The motor vehicle data matching program identifies all motor vehicles sold, transferred or newly registered in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 financial year where the transfer and/or market value is $10,000 or greater.

The following motor vehicle registering bodies for each state and territory are below:

State/Territory Government representative
New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services, NSW
Queensland Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads
Victoria VicRoads Licensing and Registrations Operations
Tasmania Tasmania Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, Registration and Licensing Branch
South Australia South Australia Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure
Western Australia Department of Transport
Northern Territory Department of Lands and Planning
Australian Capital Territory ACT Road Department of Urban Services, Road User Services

Using motor vehicle data improves compliance with tax obligations of taxpayers by:

•  Identifying taxpayers whose expenditure is in excess of their reported income
•  Identifying businesses that sell vehicles and do not report, or under-report those sales
•  Obtaining intelligence to increase the ATO’s understanding of the behaviours and compliance profile of buyers and sellers
•  Developing and implementing strategies to improve voluntary compliance, including educational or audit activities as appropriate
•  Helping to address potential non-compliance in the following areas
– Income tax
– Superannuation
– Goods and services tax
– Fringe benefits tax
– Luxury car tax

Those identified as being at risk of potentially skimming some or all of the cash takings, running part of their business ‘off-the-books’, or in other ways not reporting all their income, should make a voluntary disclosure to the ATO for any under-reported amounts.

In cases where individuals or businesses fail to comply with their obligations- even after being reminded of them- other actions may be appropriate, including consideration for default assessments of tax liabilities. Here at The Quinn Group, our dedicated accountants and tax lawyers can help you make a voluntary disclosure to the ATO. Contact us by submitting an online enquiry or call us on 1300 (QUINNS) (784 667) or +61 9223 9166 to arrange an appointment.