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Reduced penalty period for foreign investors ends 30 November 2015

The ATO has issued a reminder that foreign investors in residential real estate have until Monday 30 November to disclose possible breaches of Australia’s foreign investment rules and take advantage of the reduced penalty period. The ATO has also released a video explaining the changes being made to Australia’s foreign investment rules.

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Data matching program: Visa information

The ATO will request from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to provide the names, addresses and other details of visa holders, their sponsors and migration agents for the 2013-14 to 2016-17 financial years. Records obtained will be electronically matched by the ATO with certain sections of their data holdings to identify non-compliance with…

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ATO trialling “certainty letters”

The ATO says that it is trialling “certainty letters” in a pilot program. The letters are being sent to some taxpayers to confirm that their 2014-15 tax returns are finalised, namely “to acknowledge and provide certainty to taxpayers who meet their obligations and do the right thing”. According to the ATO, receiving this letter means…

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ATO warns taxpayers on the risks of not using qualified valuers

The ATO has published information warning taxpayers who undertake their own valuations – or use valuations from people without adequate qualifications – that they risk incorrectly reporting their tax and may therefore become liable to pay administrative penalties. The ATO also state that the majority of taxpayers who use a qualified valuer or equivalent professional…

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ATO reminds employers: Time running out to take advantage of SuperStream compliance flexibility

The ATO is reminding large and medium employers they must be SuperStream compliant by no later than Saturday 31 October 2015. The ATO previously announced it would allow these employers (those with 20 or more employees) an additional four months to adopt SuperStream, following the 30 June deadline. With the extended deadline now rapidly approaching, the…

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IGT to review ATO employer audits

The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) will review the ATO’s employer obligations audits and compliance activities, with a particular focus on the impact on small businesses. A major focus of the review will be the difficulties caused by the need to determine employee or independent contractor status. Other issues raised for consideration by the IGT include:…

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ATO focus on rental property deductions

The ATO has announced that it is increasing its focus on rental property deductions and is encouraging all rental owners to double-check their claims before lodging their tax return. The ATO is paying particular attention to excessive deductions claimed for rental properties, especially those located in popular holiday destinations around Australia.

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Verifying and reporting scams

The ATO and members are seeing an increase in unscrupulous and sophisticated groups attempting to impersonate ATO officers in order to commit fraud. Scammers are becoming increasingly aggressive, threatening and pervasive in the community. The ATO have already undertaken significant efforts to educate the community about these scams and will soon provide further guidance on…

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ATO focus on work-related expenses

The ATO has advised taxpayers that it will be focusing this year on unusually high work-related expenses claims across all industries and occupations. Technology enhancement and use of data is improving the ATO’s ability to identify and investigate such claims, it has said. The ATO will also focus on claims that are already reimbursed by…

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