ATO Using School Data to Catch Tax Evaders

December 8, 2015 Taxation in Australia

CANBERRA – School rolls are the latest weapon employed by Australian tax authorities in their fight against tax evaders.

More than 100 households in Australia will be investigated by the Australian Tax Office in the near future, after authorities obtained information from several private schools about the payment of school fees from bank accounts situated in jurisdictions regarded to be offshore tax havens.

The information was collected by the ATO from 60 different schools across the country, all as part of the ongoing investigations into tax evasion.

The schools, some of which have annual fees in excess of AUD 100 000 per year, provided information on which families paid their school levies directly from offshore bank accounts.

According to the ATO, payment of such large amounts directly from offshore accounts may indicate that large amounts of undeclared funds are being held overseas.

The data provided by the school were matched against the tax returns of the parents, with any large discrepancies resulting in an investigation.

It was noted that holding an offshore account is not directly indicative of any wrong doing or tax dodging, and the taxpayers being investigated will be asked to provide evidence that the funds held in offshore accounts have been declared and all taxes have been paid.

Photo By: Phil Roeder