Tax tips: ATO’s enhanced data matching program


The ATO has announced that they will be enhancing their data matching program to incorporate all types of information from three major sources: share registries, credit card companies and online selling companies.
The ATO will use their vast powers to obtain information to ensure that taxpayers are declaring all their income.
Whilst not news, their expansion into gathering data from a more diverse range of areas is designed to address their perception that taxpayers are not declaring all their income. It will also be used to obtain intelligence about broader issues, such as business risk, trends and analysis.
To that end they intend to seek more information from share registries, credit and debit card companies and online selling companies, such as eBay, ride-sourcing (see and the sharing economy, like Uber and Airbnb.


Following the ATO’s audit and investigation program into travel allowance claims which involved a number of our clients being targeted, the ATO have decided that they need more clarity on this issue. They are seeking submissions about these allowances from interested parties. Lowensteins has supported the NTAA and other accounting bodies’ submissions that speak of the need for more detail in what the ATO say constitutes sufficient evidence of claims.
In our experience, the ATO has been very vague about what evidence is required to make travel claims under a travel allowance – see Lowensteins Newsletter, December 2014.
Following Lowensteins’ submission and meetings with the ATO together with various accounting bodies’ submissions, it was decided by the ATO that the ruling that defines travel allowance claims will need to be rewritten.

Lowensteins look forward to the ATO’s updated findings. We will relay any news to our readership.