Building on the success of earlier data-matching programs, the ATO has announced a new drive targeted at extracting tax from contractor, working for local government authorities.

The details of over 20,000 individuals contracting with a variety of local Councils and Shires in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania will be data matched with other information by the ATO, in search of additional tax dollars.  The typical areas to be targeted are PAYG, Fringe Benefits Tax and Superannuation. The ATO may even share the information it gathers with State Revenue Offices, who would be keen to pick up on any Payroll Tax and Workers Compensation shortfalls.

With the ATO’s enhanced data analysis capabilities, taxpayers will increasingly see this approach in addition to any tax due, interest and penalties even what may be viewed as innocent errors and mistakes can prove very expensive. To reduce the risk of incurring costly penalties and interest, it pays to get your house in order before the taxman comes knocking.