Recently the ATO attempted to reassure taxpayers by
stating that declaring overseas income under Project DO IT would
not result in a 'red flag' against their names. The
deadline to access the ATO amnesty is 19 December
We have prepared a number of disclosures for taxpayers with bank
accounts and other income to declare from overseas sources. We have
managed disclosures for taxpayers with special circumstances by
agreeing on particular action plans with the ATO on a case by case
We have acted for taxpayers who have not lodged returns for a
number of years after having worked overseas and have been
successful in getting the ATO to limit the amended assessments to a
reduced period even though they are strictly entitled to go back
beyond the four year audit period. We have also had circumstances
where the taxpayer's records have been incomplete. On each
occasion, the ATO has agreed a reasonable method for declaring the
Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston stated that the ATO was
more concerned with taxpayers who did not take advantage of the
amnesty rather than those that did.
'These disclosures will enable us to put our resources onto
the taxpayers who don't come forward,' he said.
We expect the ATO to focus resources on taxpayers who have not
declared overseas income. This is particularly the case as the ATO
will soon obtain access for the first time to information held by
foreign banks. Australians with accounts overseas can expect to be
targeted once the amnesty has concluded and the ATO starts to
gather information from the foreign banks.
Obviously taxpayers who have made declarations under Project DO
IT will need to be careful to correctly declare overseas income in
The window for participating in the ATO amnesty is closing, with
the 19 December 2014 deadline approaching. The ATO has confirmed,
however, that if an 'expression of interest' is lodged by
19 December, taxpayers will be given a reasonable time to obtain
all the necessary information before lodging the disclosure.
The ATO acknowledge that obtaining all the necessary information
can be time consuming for taxpayers and therefore even if all the
facts are unknown by the deadline, an expression of interest allows
the taxpayer a further amount of time (usually 90 days) to obtain
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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The income tax treatment of any property lease incentive will vary, depending on the nature of the inducement provided.
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