The ATO has announced that it will acquire names, addresses and other details of visa holders, their sponsors and their migration agents for the 2013–2014, 2014–2015, 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 financial years from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. It is estimated that records relating to approximately a million individuals will be obtained.

Data items to be collected include:

  • address history for visa applicants and sponsors;
  • contact history for visa applicants and sponsors;
  • all visa grants;
  • visa grant status by point in time;
  • migration agents (visa application preparer who assisted or facilitated the processing of the visa);
  • address history for migration agents;
  • contact history for migration agents;
  • all international travel movements undertaken by visa holders (arrivals and departures);
  • sponsor details (457 visa);
  • education providers (educational institution where the student visa holder intends to undertake their study); and
  • visa subclass name.

The records will be electronically matched with certain sections of ATO data holdings to identify non-compliance with tax obligations. The objectives of the data-matching program are to:

  • improve intelligence on the overall level of compliance with taxation obligations by visa holders, sponsors and migration agents;
  • test the veracity and strengths of existing risk detection models and treatment systems and identify areas for improvement in the ATO's suite of compliance models and treatment systems and practices;
  • improve the integrity of the data on the Australian Business Register by cancelling ineligible registrants;
  • identify potentially new or widespread fraud methodologies and entities controlling or exploiting those methodologies;
  • assist in developing and implementing administrative strategies to improve voluntary compliance by visa holders, sponsors and migration agents; and
  • ensure compliance with registration, lodgment, correct reporting and payment of taxation and superannuation obligations.

Further information on the ATO's data-matching program is available on its website at https://ato.gov.au/General/Gen/DIBP-Visa-Holders-Data-Matching-Program/.

Source: Notice of Data Matching Program – Immigration Visa Holders, Gazette – C2015G01255, 4 August 2015, https://comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2015G01255.