On 26 October 2016, the ATO gazetted notices advising about a range of data-matching programs.

Share transactions 2016–2017 and 2017–2018

The ATO will continue to acquire details of share transactions. Data will be acquired for the period 20 September 1985 to 30 June 2018 from various sources, including:

  • Link Market Services Limited;
  • Computershare Limited;
  • Australian Securities Exchange Limited;
  • Boardroom Pty Ltd;
  • Advanced Share Registry Services Pty Ltd;
  • Security Transfer Registrars Pty Ltd; and
  • Automic Registry Services (Automic Pty Ltd).

The ATO will collect various data items, including:

  • full name and address;
  • holder identity number (HIN);
  • share registry number (SRN);
  • entity name and ASX code;
  • purchase date and price;
  • sale date and price;
  • share quantities acquired or disposed;
  • corporate actions affecting shareholders (eg corporate reconstructions);
  • broker identity;
  • transaction codes;
  • entity type; and
  • direction indicator (buy or sell).

The ATO said the purpose of this data-matching program is to ensure that taxpayers are correctly meeting their taxation obligations in relation to share transactions. These obligations include registration, lodgment, reporting and payment responsibilities. It is estimated that data for a total of more than 61 million transactions will be obtained. Based on previous programs it is estimated that records relating to 3.3 million individuals will be matched. The ATO seeks to retain data for a period of five years from receipt of all verified data files for each relevant financial year.

Source: Commissioner of Taxation Gazette, C2016G01398, registered 26 October 2016, https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016G01398; ATO website, "Share transactions 2016–17 and 2017–18 financial years data matching program protocol", 26 October 2016, https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Share-transactions-2016-17-and-2017-18-financial-years-data-matching-program-protocol/.

Credit and debit cards 2015–2016 and 2016–2017

The ATO will continue to acquire annually data relating to credit and debit card payments to merchants. Data will be acquired for the 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 financial years from the following financial institutions:

  • American Express Australia Limited;
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited;
  • Bank of Queensland Limited;
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited;
  • First Data Merchant Solutions Australia Pty Ltd (previously BWA Merchant Services Pty Ltd);
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia;
  • Diners Club Australia;
  • National Australia Bank Limited;
  • St George Bank;
  • Suncorp-Metway Limited;
  • Tyro Payments Limited; and
  • Westpac Banking Corporation.

The ATO will collect details (such as name, address and contact information) of merchants with credit and debit card merchant facilities and the amounts and quantities of transactions processed.

The ATO will match the credit and debit card payment data provided by the 12 financial institutions against ATO records to identify businesses that may not be meeting their registration, reporting, lodgment and/or payment obligations. It is estimated that around 950,000 records will be obtained, including 90,000 matched to individuals.

The data will be used to:

  • identify liquidated or de-registered businesses that are continuing to trade;
  • assist in identifying "cash only" businesses, by exception; and
  • promote voluntary compliance with tax obligations and assist the ATO to build intelligence about businesses.

The ATO seeks to retain the data for a period of five years from receipt of all verified data files for each relevant financial year.

Source: Commissioner of Taxation Gazette, C2016G01397, registered 26 October 2016, https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016G01397; ATO website, "Credit and debit card 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years data matching program protocol", 26 October 2016, https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Credit-and-debit-cards-2015-16-and-2016-17-financial-years-data-matching-program-protocol/.

Online selling 2015–2016, 2016–2017 and 2017–2018

The ATO will continue to acquire annual online selling data. Data will be acquired relating to registrants who sold goods and services to an annual value of $12,000 or more during the 2015–2016, 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 financial years. Data will be sought from eBay Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of eBay International AG, which owns and operates www.ebay.com.au.

The ATO will collect personal details (such as name, address and contact information) of online selling account holders and the values and quantities of transactions processed for each online selling account.

The ATO will match the data provided by online selling sites against ATO records to identify businesses that may not be meeting their registration, reporting, lodgment and/or payment obligations. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 records will be obtained and that around half of the matched accounts will relate to individuals.

The ATO said the data will be used to:

  • identify those apparently operating a business but failing to meet their registration and/or lodgment obligations; and
  • promote voluntary compliance with tax obligations and assist the ATO to build intelligence about individuals and businesses that sell goods or services via online selling sites.

The ATO seeks to retain the data for a period of five years from receipt of all verified data files for each relevant financial year.

Source: Commissioner of Taxation Gazette, C2016G01396, registered 26 October 2016, https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016G01396; ATO website, "Online selling 2015–16, 2016–17 and 2017–18 financial years data matching program protocol", 26 October 2016, https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Online-selling-2015-16,-2016-17-and-2017-18-financial-years-data-matching-program-protocol/.