The environment you get taxed in today is very different from the honesty system of a decade ago.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in the past 10 years has linked all Government computers, but to the point where it can track car registrations, land and property purchases, interest received payments made by contractors and even your movements with your passport by tracking immigration.
It is quite likely you will get an audit unless you lodge regularly on time. Every year, people living off the system, off the grid and overseas are all being monitored.
We are truly in a new world. Big Brother is alive.
Years ago, the tax system was based on honesty, which worked reasonably well. In fact, the whole capital gains were based on honesty and a large degree still does rely on personal honesty. If you arouse suspicion with the ATO they can easily check out your honesty.
We would strongly advise you to get a Tax Agent to clear things up the front, rather than wait for the ATO to find out at a later point in time when it may not suit you.
When we receive your Tax Return, we can log into the ATO system and check some of the information they have been storing on you such as interests, shares, group certificate, money received from contractors, and so on.
We understand that people will feel uncomfortable with the amount of data that is held on the system about them, but it is a fact of our everyday lives. We must accept this, and the sooner people adjust, the better.
By Terry Murphy CPA
Last updated February 2018