ATO zeroes in on lifestyle assets
The ATO will now have information on an individual’s new $65,000 car or their $100,000 boat as it looks to flush out tax dodgers who aren’t being completely honest about their financial affairs.
The Tax Office has now extended its lifestyle assets data-matching program for the 2020–21 financial year through to 2022–23, allowing it to acquire insurance policy information for certain asset classes.
Motor vehicles with values of $65,000 and above will fall within the ATO’s data collection scope, as well as marine vessels above $100,000, thoroughbred horses over $65,000, fine art over $100,000 per item, and aircraft over $150,000.
The ATO will acquire the data from 25 insurance providers, with the agency expecting 300,000 individuals to be identified each year.
The data-matching program, which has been around since 2016, will give the ATO oversight over individuals who have been untruthfully declaring insufficient income in their tax returns despite accumulating assets.
Taxpayers who dispose of assets and do not declare the revenue and capital gains on those disposals will also be identified.
According to the ATO, it will also help identify taxpayers who are purchasing assets for personal use through their business or related entities and claiming GST credits they are not entitled to, or those who are using those assets for the personal enjoyment of an associate or employee which may give rise to a fringe benefits tax liability.
The extension of the lifestyle assets data-matching program comes as the ATO increasingly relies on similar programs — including its work on motor vehicles and cryptocurrency — to ensure taxpayers are meeting their tax and super obligations.
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