‘You can’t hide’: ATO cracks down on foreign income tax dodgers – warning new technology will net $100billion in undeclared cash

  • The ATO uncovered over 1.6million offshore bank accounts of Australians
  • About 370,000 taxpayers have been identified to have unreported savings
  • Financial dealings of Australians in more than 65 countries have been found 

By Paula Ahillon For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 03:07 EDT, 15 August 2019 | Updated: 03:07 EDT, 15 August 2019

The Australian Taxation Office has tracked down more than $100billion in 1.6million overseas account in a crackdown on undeclared foreign income.

Taxpayers must report any foreign income or they’ll face hefty fines. It’s estimated that 370,000 Australians have unreported money withheld overseas.

The ATO gained access to information of financial dealings of Australians in more than 65 countries including China, the UK, India, Italy and the US. 

The Australian Taxation Office will track down more than $100billion of undeclared foreign money owned by taxpayers in the country

Account information such as balances, interest, dividends and other income were accessed under the common reporting standard – an international data-sharing agreement with the ATO.

The ATO has already sent out about 2,000 letters to Australians who have failed to declare a total of about $20million held in offshore banks.

‘Australians that deliberately move cash overseas in an attempt to hide it should be concerned,’ Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said.

‘Hiding your assets and income offshore is pointless. ”Tax havens” are becoming a less effective model as international agreements improve transparency.

‘You can no longer hide money behind borders.’

New sophisticated technology used by the ATO uncovered large amounts of cash spread across over 1.6million offshore bank accounts of Australians 

Ms Foat reminded Australians they are taxed on all their income, including money from offshore investments, employment, pensions and businesses.

‘Whether it is rental income from your old family home, an untouched bank account earning interest or salary from working offshore, it must be reported,’ she said.

Ms Foat warned Australians could find their tax returns delayed if they don’t declare all their income.

‘If our data shows us that you’ve likely left out income, that can slow down the processing of your return while we make additional checks,’ Ms Foat said.

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