The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have developed a matching program for visa holders in conjunction with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). The aim of the program is to detect and deal with compliance risks within the population of visa holders.
In the interest of a fairer tax system, it is important for everyone to contribute according to the law, and this includes visa holders.
This data matching program will ensure that taxpayers are meeting their obligations, including registration, lodgement, reporting and payment responsibilities. The information to be exchanged between the government bodies includes:
- address and contact history for visa applicants and sponsors
- information on all visa grants
- address and contact history for migration agents (who assisted or facilitated the processing of the visa)
- all international travel movements undertaken by visa holders (arrivals and departures); and
- details on education providers (i.e.: educational institutions where a student visa holder intends to undertake their study)
At present the ATO will be reviewing records of visas granted between 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2015, and then ongoing to 30 June 2017 – that’s estimated to be more than one million individuals.
If you are a visa holder and you haven’t met your obligations with the ATO, I recommend you contact me as soon as possible – the ATO always look favourably upon taxpayers who try to do the right thing before it’s too late!