Australian Tax Office Targets Online Merchants

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The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced that it will gather information from eBay Australia & New Zealand Pty Ltd about online sales transactions totaling $10,000 or more during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 tax years.

This data will be compared with the tax returns lodged by online traders as part of a new “online selling data matching program”. ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan says: “Our online selling data matching program helps us keep a level playing field for honest businesses. ”

Taxpayers whose returns do not reflect the income from their online trading may face penalty tax and interest charges. The harvesting of data is likely to be extended to other online auction and sales sites for 2013-2014 and later years.

The ATO now conducts extensive “data matching” exercises and will also be ramping-up their reliance upon data obtained from international sources under the various tax information sharing programs negotiated over recent years.

Director Principal of Rollo & Company Pty Ltd, a CPA practice that specialises in Australian & international tax, estate and succession planning, professional education, negotiation and mediation, mentoring – executive coaching, and higher education consulting. We also provide the Student Ombudsman Service at Macquarie University in Sydney.

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