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Tax Cheats Beware – Immigration department to share Data with the ATO

Are you on a visa, and earning income in Australia without declaring it?
If so, be warned; the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is sharing its data with the Australian Taxation Office!
Defrauding the ATO can be held against you when seeking another visa on the character test.

The DIBP’s data will be matched electronically with the ATO’s data to identify non-compliance with taxation laws.
The data share will relate to more than 1,000,000 individuals.

They have already been successful in finding working holiday visa holders who invoice as contractors with an ABN, and never declare the income or GST.

If you think your application was submitted a while ago and you won’t be affected by this data sharing, then think again! The data to be shared will come from the 2013-2014 through to the 2016-2017 financial years.

The data to be shared includes:

  • Address history for visa applicants and sponsors;
  • Contact history for visa applicants and sponsors;
  • All visa grants;
  • Visa grant status by point in time;
  • Migration agents;
  • Address history for migration agents;
  • Contact history for migration agents;
  • All international travel movements undertaken by visa holders (arrivals and departures);
  • Sponsor details (457 visa);
  • Education providers (educational institution where the student visa holder intends to undertake their study); and
  • Visa subclass name.

If the data matching program finds a discrepancy in your data and you believe you have complied with your taxation obligations fear not! Before any action is taken, you will be given an opportunity (at least 28 days) to explain the situation, and you should immediately seek help from a lawyer who has both migration law experience and taxation law experience.
The Principal lawyer of The Migration Place is Zeke Bentley – he has been a registered migration lawyer since 2002, and has acted in taxation matters since the 1990s, and can assist reconciling any oversights or non-disclosure issues in your taxation affairs. It is imperative that you be proactive in these matters as government departments react well to voluntary disclosure. You can discuss your concerns confidentially with us, as we are lawyers and are bound by the rules of lawyer/client privilege.

If you need help with any Australian migration matters contact the Migration Place today on (07) 3229 4025 or for help with taxation issues contact Irish Bentley Lawyers on (07) 3229 4060.

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