Busienss Tax Tips – ATO – Tax Office Targets

ATO - Tax Office Targets
Tax Office Targets

The ATO has announced their 2012-2013 Compliance Program detailing targets in their vision. It describes the risks they are most concerned about and what it intends to do to address them.

1. Incorrect or Fraudulent Refunds

There will be a two stage strategy of warning taxpayers about potential incorrect claims, before a lodgment is made, and secondly checking lodged returns with various tools such as data-matching with Third Party information bodies – Centrelink, Banks etc). Incorrect returns may arise from simple errors, misunderstanding, lack of documents to substantiate claims, deliberately false claims and identity crime. In the past year more than 100,000 returns were halted, 80,000 requiring full review and $200 mill recovered.

2. Work-Related Expenses

Plumbers, Information Tech managers and Defence Force non-commissioned officers are the focus. These are considered high risk groups for mistakes in work-related expenses.The ATO plans to write to 90,000 people about assistance available and industry specific guidelines.

3. Tax Avoidance Schemes

Particular focus will be on medical practitioners and other high income individuals. Financial products with wide promotion promising big benefits will also be under scrutiny, but middle and low income earners are just as likely to be involved. Tip is to check if there is a product ruling form the Tax Office on unusual schemes.

4. Omitted Income

Especially dividend, interest, capital gains and foreign income. Methods of detection include financial institution information, State Revenue Offices and automated exchange of info via tax treaties and Australian Transcation Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

So take care – 30% of people lodge their own returns, so use online guides and help on the ATO website to help you. www.ato.gov.au/individuals

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