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ATO widens nets to catch tax cheats


The Tax Office has laid out its plans to target new personal data in an effort to catch out taxpayers who are cheating the system.

By Katarina Taurian 8 minute read

The ATO has been warning for some time that its increased data-matching capabilities will leave non-compliers with little chance of escaping detection and potential penalties.

Its data-matching capabilities with large Australian institutions and government agencies are at their most advanced, and the chances of getting away with non-compliance have been greatly reduced.

Commissioner Chris Jordan has since told The Australian the Tax Office plans to widen the scope of its search for tax cheats, with plans to more vigorously check social media posts, private school records and immigration data.

“It’s also a reality of the age we live in that there is more and more information publicly available, particularly through social media,’’ Mr Jordan said.

“Of course we’ll never go looking for this information where people are doing the right thing and are open with us. We only go looking when something just doesn’t add up.”

The ATO has reiterated to AccountantsDaily on several occasions that it is open to working with taxpayers who make honest mistakes and are willing to rectify their actions.

However, those who are intentionally doing the wrong thing now have a significantly higher chance of being detected, and are at risk of being penalised.


Katarina Taurian


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