ATO targets visa holders

For many Aussies who move overseas to work as an expat, the return to Australia often involves bringing back a significant other, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or perhaps even a fiance or spouse . . . sometimes on a spouse/partner visa or more often than not, on a tourist visa.

If the above pertains to you or a friend that you know then be aware that the ATO is about to go on a fishing exercise! They’ve recently published a notice stating that they intend obtaining names and details of visa holders, their sponsors, and migration agents from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Initially the ATO will gather information for the financial years from 2013/14 to 2016/17 and that information will then be electronically matched with existing data that the ATO holds.

And what’s the purpose of all this . . . to identify those visa holders who don’t comply with Australia’s tax registration, lodgement, reporting and payment obligations under taxation laws.

So what specifically are the ATO looking for? . . . take a look below:

  • address history for visa applicants and sponsors
  • contact history for visa applicants and sponsors
  • all visa grants and visa grant status per point in time
  • names of migration agents and visa application preparers
  • address and contact history for each migration agent
  • all international travel movements of visa holders
  • personal details of 457 visa sponsors
  • Copy of personal details of education providers where student visa holders intend to study

So if any of the above situation applies to you or to any expat friends returning to Australia, be sure to let them know that the ATO is on the lookout and they should ensure that their affairs in order!

Shane Macfarlane CA
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