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ATO Data-Matching

The ATO engages in data-matching which enables them to identify potential tax evasion, fraud and non-compliance by individuals and business. Their data-matching capabilities are listed below:

Property sales

The ATO regularly receives data relating to the purchase and sale of properties from State and Territory revenue offices around Australia.

Where property transfers are made by businesses, they are potentially taxable, and the ATO matches this information against what has been reported on activity statements. If you sold property and did not include it in your activity statement, the ATO may contact you. You will be asked to review your records and revise the relevant activity statement, without penalty, by a specified date.

Talk to us if you have sold or intend to sell a property.

Online sales – data-matching

The ATO will acquire data on Australian sales made through online selling platforms through to 2022–23. The collected data may include business names, ABNs, addresses (e.g. business, postal and email), contact details, account names, account registration information and the number and value of monthly and yearly sales transactions.

The ATO estimates the total number of account records obtained will be between 20,000 and 30,000 each financial year. It expects around half of the matched accounts will relate to individuals.

These records will be electronically matched with ATO data holdings to identify non-compliance with registration, lodgment, reporting and payment obligations under taxation laws.

If you have online sales transactions, talk to us to make sure you are complying with all your taxation obligations.

Vehicle registrations – data-matching

The ATO will acquire motor vehicle registry data from State and Territory motor vehicle registry authorities through to 2021–22. The collected data may include identification details (e.g. names, addresses and ABNs) and transaction details (e.g. date and type of transaction, sale price of the vehicle and market value of the vehicle).

The ATO estimates that records relating to approximately 1.5 million individuals will be obtained each financial year.

The data will be acquired and matched to the ATO’s internal data holdings to identify relevant cases for administrative action. For example, the data may be used to identify taxpayers buying, selling or acquiring motor vehicles who are at risk of not complying with their taxation obligations. That could be a licensed motor vehicle dealer who may not be complying with luxury car tax obligations or a business with little reported income buying a very expensive vehicle.

Don’t forget that if you are contemplating buying a new car for your business (e.g. to take advantage of full expensing), your deduction cannot exceed the car limit ($59,136 for 2020–21).

Buying a car for your business can have various tax implications, e.g. depreciation, GST and FBT. If you are contemplating buying a car, discuss the potential tax implications with us.

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