ATO to investigate 10 million taxpayer financial records
The latest ATO welfare and tax crackdown will see the financial records of over 10 million Australian taxpayers go under the microscope in the coming months.What is the ATO looking for?
Here are a few highlights in the latest ATO crackdown:
Credit Cards: The ATO has requested taxpayers’ credit card records from 10 major banks, so they can learn more about your finances and spending.Vehicles: The details of anyone who has bought a vehicle for more than $10,000 in the past two years will also be handed over. Why? To help detect people who are able to spend much more than their reported earnings should make possible.Ebay Power Sellers: If you’ve earned more than $20,000 selling on eBay then your details will likely be handed over for the ATO to check whether you’ve paid tax on those earnings.Welfare Cheats: If you received government payments then your details will be under the ATO microscope, especially if you earned any other income on the side.Capital Gains: In Queensland, details are collected from the Residential Tenancies Authority and the Office of State Revenue to cross-reference any capital gains that may not have been declared.
What should I do?
If you’ve correctly declared all of your income and expenses then you probably won’t even know if the ATO has checked your financial records.
On the other hand, if the ATO finds out you have not declared any of your sources of income then they might reassess your tax returns from past years and possibly even issue you with a financial penalty.
If you’re not sure whether everything you’ve claimed is correct or you have some extra income to declare then we suggest speaking with one of our accountants as soon as possible.
We can lodge an amended tax return on your behalf to correct any errors. Remember, taking the initiative to correct any mistakes is often looked upon more favourably by the ATO than someone who is deliberately trying to deceive or cheat the system.
Mitch was referred to us as the numbers in his financial statements didn’t add up. This happens a lot. When we reviewed his financials and bookkeeping, it was immediately apparent that the bookkeeping was riddled with errors. According to the records, there was a $160,000 loss.
Fixing the bookkeeping was way too complicated so we redid the accounts from scratch to reveal a $10,000 profit.
Mitch’s previous accountants were on auto-pilot and had taken his bookkeeping records on face value, even though they made no sense at all. As a result, he’d been making decisions on false information and running his business blind! With the ramifications of tax and business valuations also at stake, Mitch moved all his bookkeeping, cashflow, accounting and tax management to us to ensure these errors never occurred again.
* This is a real case study, we’ve just changed the client name to protect their privacy.