The Australian Taxation Office is mining data to identify individuals with undisclosed offshore income and assets. If you used to live overseas or have investment or income from overseas now is the time to meet up with a Roy A McDonald tax professional to fix any outstanding matters.
The good news according to the ATO is if you come forward and disclose your overseas income (which will generally be assessed for the last four years), you will be liable for a maximum shortfall penalty of 10% and full shortfall interest charges, and will not be investigated by the ATO or referred for criminal investigation on the basis of your disclosure.
The net is closing for people who have undeclared offshore income. The ATO will be looking at all your data and will be in touch with financial institutions, advisers and thousands of people over the coming months. At the same time, people involved in serious tax evasion may be subject to audit according to the ATO.
The ATO will significantly increase its compliance focus by examining data including: information from overseas tax authorities on Australians with offshore investments and bank accounts; information from Australian and foreign banks on fund flows, interest and account balances; information from informants about offshore accounts, and money transfers to and from offshore bank accounts.