Our ability to identify incorrect reporting in tax returns is becoming more sophisticated due to enhancements in technology and the extensive use of data.
During 2015–16, we cross-referenced information reported in tax returns against over 650 million transactions provided to us by third parties to identify omitted income and gains, or incorrectly-claimed offsets or entitlements to exemption from surcharges.
We contacted nearly 300,000 taxpayers who had apparent discrepancies in the information they reported in their tax returns.
The majority of taxpayers who made errors on their return and had to repay money didn’t wait for all pre-fill information to be available. Nine out of ten returns were adjusted as a result of our enquiries.
Traditionally we have focused on areas such as omitted interest and employment income. However with better quality data now available from more sources, we continue to expand our data matching capability to encompass a greater range of areas, such as:
- capital gains tax from the disposal of shares and property
- employment related foreign source income
- contractor income from payments made by government agencies.
Make sure your clients provide all necessary information to enable you to lodge accurate tax returns.
If your clients want to lodge before all pre-filling information is available, ask them for details of income from multiple jobs, foreign income, bank interest and Government payments they received.
Alternatively, lodging online gets even easier towards the end of August, because most data will be available to pre-fill returns.
Make sure your clients provide all necessary information to enable you to lodge accurate returns.