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  • Improved detection

    Increased technology and capability is allowing us to better identify those people committing fraud and deliberately avoiding their GST obligations.

    Data matching

    Data matching allows information from a variety of sources to be brought together to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of tax. We collect significant amounts of data from a range of external sources including banks, other government agencies and industry suppliers. We then compare this data with the income and expenditure taxpayers report to us.

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    Small business benchmarks

    Our benchmarks are financial ratios developed to help businesses compare their performance against similar businesses in their industry. Benchmarks provide guidance on what we normally expect to see in business reporting.

    We have more than 100 business benchmarks covering more than one million businesses.

    We use benchmarks to help us detect businesses that may be avoiding their tax obligations by not reporting some or all of their income.

    By developing benchmarks for small businesses making it harder for dishonest taxpayers to get away with not reporting cash transactions, we are making it fairer for everyone.

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    Tax crime

    We take all forms of tax evasion seriously and take firm action against taxpayers, intermediaries and others who engage in tax crime by:

    • gathering and analysing intelligence on risks and threats to the tax system
    • investigating suspected cases with a view to prosecution, often jointly with law enforcement agencies such as the Australian Federal Police
    • sharing information across partner agencies to achieve whole-of-government outcomes in tackling tax crime
    • publicising the outcomes of this work to raise community awareness.

    Case study

    All persons mentioned in this scenario are fictional

    Example: Builder fails to report contractor payments leading to fines and a criminal conviction

    A Sydney builder was audited after we received a report from a contractor, which indicated payments were made to the builder for providing services on a project totalling nearly $180,000.

    Upon investigation the builder's activity statements (BAS) didn't show this income and, when questioned, the builder denied receiving any payments.

    Bank statements and records from the owners of the building project showed the builder failed to report $177,500 in income, which led to a tax shortfall of just under $24,000.

    He was prosecuted on six offences, including recklessly making a statement to a taxation officer that was false and misleading. The builder, who was fined $18,000 and ordered to pay additional penalties of $17,300, now has a criminal conviction.

    End of example

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      Last modified: 22 May 2017QC 23695