A $679.9 million funding boost for the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce allowed for an expansion in compliance approaches, and wealthy Australians should brace for more activity.
“This funding allows us to intensify our focus on the top 1,000 multinational and public companies as well as the top 320 private groups and the high wealth individuals who control them,” said deputy commissioner at the ATO Mark Konza.
The ATO’s current focus includes trusts and aggressive tax planning. This has involved a review or audit of approximately 700 taxpayers.
Broadly, these moves are part of the government’s intentions to ensure large corporations and multinationals are paying tax, under new and tougher anti-avoidance laws.
“As a result of the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL), more than $7 billion in sales annually is expected to be returned to the Australian tax base. We have also seen more than half a billion dollars in extra GST paid in 2017-18 as a result of some global entities restructuring in response to the MAAL. We expect this will continue to grow,” Mr Konza said.
For taxpayers who don’t fall into this bracket, the ATO is also targeting smaller deductions, which compound over time.
Expenses as minor as suspect laundry claims will be in the Tax Office’s sights this financial year. You can read a comprehensive wrap of what will be on the ATO’s hit list here.