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ATO data matching programs

The ATO is carrying out two new data matching programs to identify non-compliance with registration, lodgment, reporting and payment obligations, i.e., looking for tax avoiders.

Motor vehicles

The ATO has announced a new “Motor vehicle data matching program” to collect details of individuals or businesses that have purchased or acquired a vehicle costing $10,000 or more in the 2011/12 and the 2012/13 financial years.

It will acquire information from every State and Territory vehicle registration authority.

It is expected that records relating to approximately 2.8 million individuals will be matched.

Share transactions

The ATO has also announced a new “Share transactions data matching program” that will acquire details of share acquisitions and sales from 20 September 1985 to 30 June 2016 from:

The type of data that the ATO will collect includes the name and address of the taxpayer, and the date, price and number of shares acquired or sold.

It estimates that more than 95 million records will be obtained, including the records for approximately 1.2 million individuals.

The fact that this program collects information back to 20 September 1985 raised concerns the ATO might amend assessments up to 30 years old!

However, the ATO has come out and said that it is only going back to when CGT was first introduced so that it can identify ‘post-CGT shares’ and calculate the cost base where shares have recently been sold (for example, if they were bought in 1986 and sold in 2014).

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