Did you know that the ATO can access information from YOUR employer, bank, super fund, credit card, insurance funds, government departments and more? They have powerful ways to check that the information you’ve declared on your tax return is correct and catch out those tax cheats who incorrectly claim more than they’re entitled to.
In 2011-12 the Australian Tax Office intercepted and blocked about 8000 tax cheats who lodged inaccurate or fraudulent tax returns and in 2013 they’re looking to increase these numbers.
As a timely reminder of their access to taxpayers’ information, the ATO just released a list of financial institutions that recently provided customer data to the ATO as part of the department’s effort to catch taxpayers who under-report their income.
Financial institutions that give data to the ATO include (but are not limited to):
- American Express
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
- Bank of Queensland
- Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
- BWA Merchant Services
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Diners Club
- National Australia Bank
- St George Bank
The ATO can see more of your personal information than you think. Having access to this data allows the ATO to check for undeclared income and compare your income with your spending. For sole traders or small business operators, it allows the ATO to ensure a business owner is declaring every type of income accurately.
When getting ready to do your 2013 tax return in July 2013, we advise you to ensure all of your records and financial statements are up to date. Throughout the year, collecting receipts and records will help make tax time easier and more profitable.
Accurate returns = faster refunds.
By ensuring your submit an accurate and error free tax return, you’ll speed up processing of your return and help minimise the chance of you getting into trouble with the ATO further down the road.
If you’re unsure about a particular income item or interest charge that you may need to declare on your tax return, please send us an email on [email protected] or leave us a comment over on our Facebook page.