Tax data net to be widened

The government has proposed to improve taxpayer compliance through new third-party reporting regimes and has undertaken public consultation to seek feedback on possible policy issues. The proposal aims to improve taxpayer compliance by enhancing the information reported to the ATO by a range of third parties. The proposal is currently scheduled to commence from 1 July 2014 (although first reports would not be due to the ATO until after 1 July 2015).

The government notes that some of the elements of the proposal can be implemented by the ATO, whereas other elements will require tax law changes. This would involve the creation of new third-party reporting regimes in relation to:

  •        sales of real property;
  •        sales of shares and units in unit trusts;
  •        sales through merchant debit and credit services; and
  •        taxable government grants and other payments.

In respect of these transactions, the government suggests that the ATO would initially seek to receive annual reports and then seek to move to quarterly, monthly or real-time reporting.