Data matching

During 2010-11 we matched over 539 million transactions received from third parties against income tax returns and other income statements we held. Through data matching we took action on over 416,000 cases of omitted income, or over-claimed entitlements by individuals, resulting in revenue adjustments of $351 million.

Analysis of compliance behaviour showed that once we make a data-matching adjustment to an individual's income tax return, in the following year we correct discrepancies for only 4.9% of these individuals.

For more information see our data matching feature.

Overstated or fraudulent claims

We expanded our risk models across all 2009-10 individuals' income tax returns to increase detection of potentially overstated or fraudulent claims for refunds. During the year we identified more than 34,600 returns and adjusted them by over $115.5 million. We detected and dealt with some sophisticated attempts at refund fraud.

We received additional funding from government to increase our focus on taxpayers with incorrect or fraudulent claims for activity statement refunds or those engaged in deliberate evasion - looking particularly at the property sector. During the year we completed 4,794 audits and raised $208 million in GST liabilities.

Over 98% of taxpayers whose activity statements we adjusted as a result of refund-verification activity do not repeat their non-compliance in a subsequent year.

Pay as you go withholding

Overall we conducted more than 27,600 audits and reviews during the year relating to the proper compliance with the PAYG withholding provisions, raising over $690.2 million in liabilities.

Over 98% of employers audited do not repeat their non-compliance in the following year. This is up from 85% in previous years, a result of more consistent follow up action.

Around 35% of businesses we visited were incorrectly treating employees as contractors. We matched income details of over 22,000 contractors and are following up with the 23% who appear not to have lodged a tax return and a further 17% who lodged but appear not to have declared their contract income.

Highly-paid company executives and directors

During the year we continued to review the tax affairs of company executives and directors. We corrected more than 550 tax returns as a result of audits or reviews, resulting in revenue adjustments of $108.4 million.

Highly wealthy individuals and wealthy Australians

We define 'highly wealthy individuals' as people effectively controlling more than $30 million in net wealth, and 'wealthy Australians' as people effectively controlling net wealth between $5 million and $30 million.

In 2009-10 we reported not meeting our annual liability and cash collections estimates for highly wealthy individuals as a small number of significant cases were taking longer than planned. We finalised these cases in 2010-11.

The difference between the liabilities raised and cash collected during the year is due to a large number of assessments in dispute.

TABLE 4.23: Liabilities and collections for highly wealthy individuals and wealthy Australians, 2010-11






Highly wealthy individuals





Wealthy Australians





Collection amounts may include cases completed or liabilities raised in 2010-11 or previous years.

    Last modified: 31 Oct 2011QC 28036