The online selling data-matching program, in place since 2008, has now been extended to allow the ATO to acquire data on Australian sales made through the online selling platforms for 2018–19 through to the 2022–23 financial years.
Obtaining data from eBay Australia and New Zealand and Amazon Australia, the ATO will be able to detect potentially unreported income and identify taxpayers operating a business but are failing to meet their registration, lodgement, reporting or payment obligations.
Online sellers who sell goods or services with a total annual turnover of $12,000 or more are likely to be looked at by the ATO, with such sellers seeing their data collected between 2015 and 2018.
The threshold was $10,000 during the 2014–15 financial year.
“The ongoing collection of this data enables us to review and educate online sellers who may be transitioning from hobby status to being in business,” the ATO said.
“Insights from the program inform treatment strategies to improve voluntary compliance through education on taxation obligations.”
Data collected from eBay and Amazon are set to include sellers’ identification details including their date of birth and contact information, as well as their online account details such as their IP address, their linked PayPal account and the value of their sales transactions.
The ATO anticipates obtaining between 20,000 and 30,000 account records for each financial year and expects around half of the matched accounts to relate to individuals.
Data records are expected to be kept for up to five years, allowing the ATO to cross-reference taxpayer records retrospectively.
The ATO has established a number of new data-matching programs this year, particularly around JobKeeper compliance as well as to verify eligibility for other pandemic stimulus measures such as the cash flow boost and the early release of super.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.