The Australian Tax Office (ATO) recently released a guide on their approach to information gathering. The quite comprehensive 53 page guide provides an insight to both the principles adopted by the ATO in exercising their powers and the considerable extent of those powers.
Australia’s Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 36) confers many of the relevant information gathering powers. These powers include both the power to give formal notices requiring information to be provided and formal access powers.
For example, §263 of ITAA 36 allows an authorized ATO officer to “…at all times have full and free access to all buildings, places, books, documents and other papers” and to Read more