Tax office will target luxury car owners

If you have bought a luxury car costing more than $57,099 in the last few years, get ready to be scrutinised by the Australian Taxation Office.

The tax office has announced it will look into the tax affairs of every person to have purchased a luxury car between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2007 by collecting registration data from state and territory motor vehicle registries and matching it with the tax office’s internal data.

The tax office will be looking for people who own a luxury car but have a relatively low level of declared income. According to The Australian Financial Review, the protocol setting out the purpose of the data matching projects states: “The intention of the luxury-vehicle data matching project is to trace both high-risk non-lodgers and those with undeclared income based on the value of the assets they acquire which indicate conspicuous wealth.”

The exact number of taxpayers that will have their affairs examined is unclear, although there were about 200,000 luxury cars sold during the period in question, according to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

The tax office probe comes just weeks after the Rudd Government announced it was raising the tax on luxury cars from 25% to 33% after 1 July.

It seems owing a luxury car is fast becoming the wrong sort of status symbol.

Read more about luxury car tax.

You can help keep SmartCompany free for everyone to read

Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.

That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.

Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany Supporter.

Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.

And it’s not all one-way traffic either. SmartCompany Super Supporters get to dial into our monthly editor’s meeting and attend a monthly, invite-only webinar with a big-name entrepreneur.