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The ATO is becoming increasingly sophisticated with their analytics on accessible databases with a view to putting tax payers on notice for Tax Audits. Below is a snapshot of the latest focus for data matching.
Banking Transparency Strategy Data Matching Program

The ATO will collect the offshore account details of approximately 50,000 bank customers to identify Australian resident taxpayers with offshore bank accounts, which may evidence undeclared income and/or gains in the 2008/90 to 2010/11 financial years, from the major banks as well as 14 other banks, including Bank of Queensland, Macquarie Bank, Citigroup, HSBC, Rabobank, Arab Bank Australia, Bank of China, Credit Suisse and the Union Bank of Switzerland.
Credit and Debit Card Matching Program

The ATO will request and collect data relating to credit and debit card sales relating to approximately 900,000 merchants for the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 from the Big Four banks, as well as Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Bank of Queensland, BWA Merchant Services, American Express Australia and Diners Club Australia.
Real Property Data Matching Program

The ATO will request and collect names and addresses of approximately 10.4 million individuals and other entities transacting with real property from the various State Revenue Offices and land title registration bodies around the country, as well as other entities such as the Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority.

An ATO Audit can be time consuming for business owners and incur professional costs to effectively prepare an appropriate response. It is recommended that Businesses most at risk of being singled out for a Tax Audit, consider Tax Audit Insurance which for a small sum provides cover for professional fees incurred when following a notice of an audit or investigation by a Government Authority. Please contact Nathan Case from Hanrick Curran's General Insurance Division, Ausure SEQ, for a quote.

This article was published in the Autumn 2013 Horizon. For a pdf version of the newsletter please click here.