If you have not fully complied with paying all Australian tax due, then your visa application could be rejected.
If your tax is queried, then you need to seek expert advice ASAP.
DIAC will be sharing databases with the ATO to ensure visa applicants have paid all Australian tax due, and to identify potential refund fraud and other non-compliance with lodgement and payment obligations.
This applies mainly to the holders of temporary visa – notably the holders of 457 work visas, student visas and working holiday visas (and any of visa Subclasses 406,410, 411, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 426, 427, 428, 442, 457, 462, 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576, 580).
Initially, this will cover the period 1 July 2008 to 31 March 2011.
Apart from the obvious penalties that can flow from defrauding the ATO, the existence of tax fraud will effect whether a visa applicant satisfies the compulsory character test.
The character test is usually satisfied by providing proof of a clean criminal record and the absence of any history of bankruptcy, however other facts (such as tax compliance whilst on an Australian temporary visa) is also very relevant.
This highlights the importance of:
- Seeking good tax advice up front.
- Addressing any non-compliance proactively.
- Engaging a migration lawyer who also understands Australia’s taxation systems.
- Engaging a migration lawyer experienced in drafting submissions regarding the character test.
Zeke Bentley is experienced in:
- migration law, having been registered since 2002.
- taxation matters, noting he represents clients in contested tax matters involving $40m+.
- preparing submissions on the character test, having successfully secured permanent residency for clients with a variety of criminal charges such as possession of dangerous weapons, drink driving, leaving the scene of a serious motor vehicle accident, soccer hooliganism etcetera.
Please contact us if you have any issues that may affect the DIAC’s view of your character test – whether those issues relate to bankruptcy, criminal charges or tax non-compliance.
It is important to be prepared for any issues that may arise, and to consider the merits of being proactive, rather than reactive to any questions that may arise.