Australian Tax Office will audit 20 million overseas visa holders

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The Australian Tax Office will audit 20 million plus overseas visa holders and international students. Data matching audits will be utilized to detect tax defaulters and enforce compliance with superannuation. This has been revealed by the agency on 21 January.

The audit will consist of data-matching for three years. It will cross verify information from the Home Affairs Department of the Government of Australia with the records of Australian Tax Office.

The ATO revealed to the Reuters that around 20 million individuals’ records will be accessed over the period of three years, as quoted by the SMH. These records will be matched electronically with the data of ATO. This will detect violations of obligations under the superannuation and taxation laws in Australia.

Information of visa holders, overseas students, education providers, their sponsors and immigration agents will be assessed. It will also include address records, visa lodgments, and travel movements for the fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2019-2020.

The ATO said that individuals will have 28 days to reply to a request for information in cases of discrepancies that are detected. This will be prior to any administrative action.

The Data-matching program is aimed at updating the existing information of superannuation and taxation risks. This is with respect to the immigration agents, visa sponsors, and visa holders in Australia. It also aims to check the strengths and accuracy of the current models for detection of risks. This will help to identify areas of improvement, practices, and treatment systems added the ATO.

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Anshul Singhal

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