ATO crackdown on the wealthy

Individuals with net assets over $30 million are about to get a letter from the tax office telling them to get their tax affairs in order.

Last year, the tax office’s crackdown on the rich was so successful that the ATO is sending 1400 letters out this week with a 60 page booklet highlight the key areas the ATO will examine, reports the Australian Financial Review.

The Tax office is reportedly focusing on wealthy individuals because of their inherently complex business structures and because very little public information is available about them.

Key triggers for the tax office’s attention include:

  • Variations between tax and economic or business performance
  • Unexplained losses
  • Private assets treated as business assets
  • Non-disclosure of share dealings.

Audits of top executives at Australia’s largest companies reaped $11 million in revenue, up from $1 million the year before, ATO commissioner of taxation Michael D’Asccenzo said in a speech earlier this year.

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