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  • Specialised Payment Systems 2013-14 to 2016-17 data matching program protocol

    At a glance

    The specialised payment systems data matching program is designed to obtain data on electronic payments received by business that complement data obtained from the ongoing credit and debit card data matching program. Transactions processed through the specialised payment systems in this program cover those transactions either not included, or not visible at the ‘end merchant’ level in the ATO’s merchant credit and debit card data collection.

    Together, these complementary programs increase community confidence in the integrity of the tax system, promote voluntary compliance, help protect honest businesses from unfair competition and enable the ATO to assess the level of taxation compliance of individuals and businesses. This program protocol will be the second collection of specialised payment systems data.

    The ATO intends to continue this data matching program matching transactions processed through specialised payments systems covering the 2013–14; 2014–15; 2015–16 and 2016–17 years.  From 1 July 2017 providers will be required to report this detail to the ATO as part of the Government’s legislated compliance measure on improving compliance through third party reporting that was announced in the 2013-14 Budget.

    Details will be requested from ten providers of specialised payment system facilities about the merchants who use their payment facilities and the associated transactions. The ATO will match the data provided by reporters against ATO records to identify businesses that may not be meeting their taxation registration, reporting, lodgment and/or payment obligations. It will be cross referenced with other data the ATO holds.

    Program objectives

    The objectives of this data matching program are to:

    • Ensure compliance with registration, lodgment, correct reporting and payment of taxation obligations.
    • Promote voluntary compliance with taxation obligations and increase awareness in the community of the ways the ATO uses data matching to address non-compliance by publishing this program protocol.
    • Assist the ATO in building intelligence about businesses including broader risk, trend and strategic analysis.

    How the data will be used

    The data will be used to:

    • detect unreported income through discrepancy matching
    • identify those operating a business but failing to meet their registration, lodgment or payment obligations
    • identify liquidated or de-registered businesses that are continuing to trade (phoenix operators)
    • identify ‘cash only’ businesses, by exception
    • support analytical models to detect high risk activity and cases for administrative action.

    Learn more about:

    Previous/Pilot programs

    This will be the second collection of specialised payment systems data.

    The first data collection promoted awareness in the community of the ATO's data matching capabilities. Publication of the data matching protocol generated some media interest. In addition, communication material about this program was prepared for data providers for inclusion in their newsletters and emails to their clients.

    The first collection of specialised payment systems data also revealed discrepancies between electronic payments received and information declared in businesses' tax returns. These discrepancies are being investigated. Revenue will be raised in relation to income tax and GST from taxpayer audits, voluntary disclosures and lodgments received based on the specialised payment systems data. However, due to the broad and diverse use of this data it is difficult to attach a dollar value to the program.

      Last modified: 10 Jan 2019QC 48672