Internet Sales - Australian Tax Office Review

Business Accounting - A Grade Tax

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is launching a data matching program focusing on individuals and businesses who have sold more than $20,000 in goods and services on the online selling sites eBay and The Trading Post in any of the last three financial years.

If you are running a business through online selling sites, or you have an existing business and are making additional sales through these sites, then you need to include this income in your activity statement and/or tax return.

The data match will detect businesses that are under reporting or not reporting income generated from these sources.

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo is encouraging anyone who may have understated their taxable income in the last three years to make a voluntary disclosure.

“If you do so you will be treated fairly and benefit where applicable from significantly lower penalties. You can make a voluntary disclosure on this or any other matter by writing to the ATO – more details are available on the ATO website,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said the data matching program helps to ensure that there is a level playing field so that businesses doing the right thing are not disadvantaged.

“The online data matching program is part of the ATO’s focus on encouraging high levels of voluntary compliance and addressing the issues raised by non-compliant behaviour,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

“Data matching allows information from a variety of sources to be brought together and compiled, identifying individuals and businesses that are avoiding their tax obligations.

“Records will be matched against different identifiers such as tax file numbers, ABN’s, addresses and date of births which will improve the integrity of our data matching program.

“When information obtained from data matching is used in an audit or review, people will be given the opportunity to confirm or contradict the information found from the data matching.”

All the data collected is in accordance with the Federal Privacy Commissioner’s guidelines on data matching in Commonwealth administration, with taxpayers confidentiality protected at all times.

(ATO Media Release)

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