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ATO opens up at the Senate Estimate Hearing

The ATO has provided some insightful information at the 1 March 2017 Senate Estimates Hearing when addressing various questions posed to its high-ranking Commissioners.

Of interest were the responses and discussions dealing with the following three topical taxation issues.

The ATO’s management of reviewing CGT compliance

While acknowledging the CGT is still an area that relies on self-assessment, the ATO highlighted that its officers focus on risks when conducting their audit activities.

To minimise revenue leakage, the ATO utilise data-matching facilities for transactions such as transfers of property titles and stock exchange information, as well as asset betterment analysis of individual taxpayers.

Compliance work conducted as a result of the Panama Papers

Following the Panama Papers leak in April 2016, the ATO reported that it had conducted several raids involving six accountants and 60 taxpayers, with the Australian Federal Police issuing three search warrants.

The ATO reported that it had contacted 160 taxpayers as a result of the tax haven scandal, and 40 of those had come forward and made significant voluntary disclosures.

Multinational organisation audit actions and results

The Commissioner also reported to the Senates Estimates hearing that they currently had 70 audits underway in the large business area (covering 59 multinational corporations).

Importantly, he highlighted that there were at least seven multinational audits expected due for conclusion by 30 June 2017, which were expected to raise $2 billion in lost revenue.

Of those seven multinational audits, four organisations were in e-commerce and three were in the energy and natural resource industries.


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