DATE MATCHING FINDS TAXPAYERS WITH UNNAMED SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS
Minister for Revenue Kelly O’Dwyer has announced that more than 100 Australians have been identified as “high risk” and requiring further ATO investigation because they have links to Swiss banking relationship managers alleged to have actively promoted and facilitated tax evasion schemes.
The Minister confirmed that following a joint international investigation, the ATO and other Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) agencies have identified 578 Australians as holding unnamed numbered accounts with a Swiss bank.
“While the ATO has found the majority of Australians identified in the data to have complied with their tax obligations, a range of immediate compliance actions are being taken against 106 taxpayers, and one is under assessment by the Government’s cross-agency Serious Financial Crime Taskforce”, Minister O’Dwyer said.
She said the ATO is investigating whether those taxpayers are using a sophisticated system of numbered accounts to conceal and transfer wealth anonymously to evade their tax obligations in Australia.
In working with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the Minister said, the ATO has identified that these 106 taxpayers have had 5,000 cross-border transactions worth over $900 million in the past 10 years. The transaction amounts range from as little as $25 up to $24 million.
Ms O’Dwyer said information releases are becoming more regular, with the ATO and other government agencies receiving large data sets “reasonably regularly”. The ATO constantly receives intelligence from a range of sources which it cross-matches against existing intelligence holdings through its “smarter data” technology.
“I encourage anyone who believes they may have undeclared offshore income to come forward and contact the ATO to make a voluntary disclosure”, Minister O’Dwyer concluded. The SFCT comprises the Australian Federal Police, ATO, Attorney General’s Department, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Border Force, Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions and ASIC.
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