• Video transcript – It's not worth the risk


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    At the ATO, we're committed to ensuring that all Australian businesses have a level playing field. So it's important that everyone meets their tax obligations.

    However, we know some people unfairly hide their income and avoid paying their fair share. These people cheat all Australian businesses that do the right thing.

    We want to make sure that businesses that do the right thing are not disadvantaged by these unfair actions.

    To achieve this, we conduct an extensive range of data-matching programs. Data matching is used to cross check a range of activities quickly, accurately and efficiently.

    The services we provide, including the prefilling of the income tax - e-tax return- draws on information from banks, financial institutions, other information from payment summaries and health insurance funds to assist in this pre-filling service. This could not be possible without the data-matching capability that we have.
    For the minority of people who choose not to do the right thing and not meet their tax obligations, data-matching capability is a powerful tool to help the Tax Office identify them and bring them to account.
    For example we draw on information from banks and financial institutions and property information from States and Territories and match that with the information that’s provided by taxpayers on their income tax returns and business activity statements. This allows us to identify those taxpayers who are not properly reporting all of their income, or appear to be living beyond their means.

    If we check your information, it doesn't automatically mean we think you're dishonest in your tax affairs. But if the data doesn't match, we'll contact you to find out why.

    Where we discover someone has chosen to deliberately avoid their tax obligations, we will apply the full force of the law.

    Our message regarding our data matching capability is clear. It provides assistance and support for those taxpayers who are willing to do the right thing. For those who chose not to do the right thing you will be caught. It's not worth the risk.
      Last modified: 30 May 2014QC 40471