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Resources ยป ATO Data Matching

ATO Data Matching

Data matching is a powerful administrative and law enforcement tool, allowing information from a variety of sources to be brought together, compiled and applied to a range of public policy purposes at vastly lower costs than manual methods, ensuring everyone pays their fair share of tax.

Overview of the ATO compliance approach

The ATO have a twofold approach to compliance:

  • to maximise voluntary compliance by making it as easy as possible to understand and meet obligations, and
  • to deter, detect and address non-compliance.

They align all of their data matching activities to the published Compliance Program, and expect that data matching will make a major, continuing contribution to their compliance effort.

What data do they acquire?

Taken from the ATO website, "Our traditional sources of data include investment income information from banks, financial institutions and investment bodies, employment information and welfare payments. The supply of this data is authorised by legislation. We match this data with our own information to detect those who may not be correctly disclosing all of their income. We also undertake large scale activities involving information exchange with other government agencies. These exchanges of information, are authorised by legislation.

We also have an agreement with Medicare Australia who provide data to enable us to administer the 30% health insurance incentives rebate, and have online access to information held by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and banking transactions captured by AUSTRAC.

As well we undertake data matching projects relating to particular risks, issues or industries. For example, these could include scrutiny of property sales to detect capital gains issues or payments made to those involved in the horse racing industry."

So what are they targeting (these are some of the programs currently runnng)

It’s widely known that the Tax Office counts restuarants, coffee shops and cafes amongst the high-risk cash economy businesses. The ATO will collect the details of individuals and businesses that have purchased more than 15kg of coffee per week in either of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 financial years.

Information will be sourced from:

Segafredo Zanetti Australia Pty Ltd (suppliers of Segafredo)
Cantarella Bros Pty Ltd (suppliers of Vittoria Coffee, Aurora and Delta)
SL/DE Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd (suppliers of Piazza d’Oro and Douwe Egberts)
Valcorp Pty Ltd (suppliers of Lavazza)
Primo Coffee Pty Ltd
Complete Coffee Pty Ltd (suppliers of Primo Caffe Bar Coffee Range and Caffe Di Stefano Signature blend)
Coffex Coffee Pty Ltd

It is expected that records of more than 8,000 individuals will be matched.This program was announced in the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette GN7.

Building Industry Data Matching

The ATO will collect the details of individuals and businesses that hold trade accounts with purchases between $10,000 and $3M in the 2009-10 financial year.

This information will be sourced from Westfarmers Limited (Bunnings Group Ltd).In addition to checking trade accounts, the ATO will be obtaining complaints and/or licensing information for the 2009-2010 and the 2010-2011 financial year from:

NSW Fair Trading
Queensland Building Services Authority
Government of South Australia Consumer and Business Services.

These details will be matched to identify non-compliance with registration, reporting, lodgement and payment obligations under tax law.It’s expected that the records of around 20,000 individuals will be compared to Tax Office data.

Motor Vehicle Data Matching Program

The ATO will collect details of individuals or businesses that have sold, transferred or newly registered a motor vehicle valued at $10,000 or more. Information will be gathered for the period 1 July, 2010 to 30 June, 2011 (the 2011 financial year).It is expected that records relating to around 2.7 million individuals will be matched.

Generally, the acquired information will be compared to ATO data holdings to identify non-compliance with lodgement, payment and correct reporting obligations under tax law. More specifically, the ATO uses motor vehicle data to identify taxpayers whose expenditure is in excess of their reported income. It’s also a great way for them to identify businesses that sell vehicles and either do not report, or under-report those sales.

This data will be sourced from:

New South Wales – Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW
Queensland – Queensland Transport
Victoria – Vic Roads
Tasmania – Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources
South Australia – Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (Transport SA)
Western Australia – Department for Planning and Infrastructure
Northern Territory – Northern Territory Department of Planning and Infrastructure (Transport Division), and
Australian Capital Territory – ACT Road Transport Authority, Road User Services, Urban Services

Pleasurecraft Data Matching Program

The objective is to identify individuals who have insured pleasurecraft with a value of $25,000 or more. This information, when combined with other wealth indicators, will assist in identifying taxpayers whose net wealth is such that their affairs should be reviewed under the highly wealthy individuals or wealthy Australians programs.The matching process will be applied to about 110,000 insurance records.

The information will be supplied by the following marine insurance companies:

Suncorp Metway Insurance Ltd
GIO General Limited
Australian Alliance Insurance Company Limited
Vero Insurance Limited
Club Marine Limited
QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited
Wesfarmers General Insurance Limited
Nautilus Marine Insurance Agency Pty Ltd
Insurance Australia Limited
CGU Insurance Limited
Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited
Associated Marine Insurers Agents Pty Ltd
RACQ Insurance Limited

Credit and Debit Card Data Matching Program

The ATO will collect information about the debit and credit card sales of merchants accross various industries. The information currently being matched relates to the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 (the 2011 financial year).It is expected that this will involve data for around 400,000 entities.

The objective is to identify non compliance with registration, reporting, lodgment and payment obligations under tax law. In particular, the ATO is looking for those who are participating in the cash economy and potentially skimming some of their cash takings (or not reporting any at all).

The ATO have obtained data from the following banks:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia
St George Bank
Westpac Banking Corporation
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
National Australia Bank Limited
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited
Bank of Queensland Limited
BWA Merchant Services Pty Ltd
American Express Australia Ltd
Diners Club Australia

Anyone who is running part of their business ‘off-the-books’ is encouraged to make a voluntary disclosure of any under-reported amounts.

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