ATO Zeroing in On Aussie Expats Who Claim Non-Residency
16/10/2015 – We’ve been hearing around the traps that the Australian Taxation Office is targeting Australian expats again who are claiming non-residency status for tax purposes. Letters are being sent out in bulk based on their data matching capacity with overseas institutions.
Last year the ATO announced a list of overseas banks it requests information from some of which include ANZ, Bank of China, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and HSBC. A full list of the banks and the announcement can be found here.
The ATO’s default position is that if the expat does not respond to the letters within 28 days and establish that they are not residents, the ATO will automatically issue assessments on the basis that the clients are Australian residents for tax purposes.
We always recommend clients take these letters seriously (ignorance is certainly not bliss in this occasion) and the first port of call should be your accountant to prepare a detailed response. If you can’t make the 28 day deadline then you need to request an extension, don’t just let the deadline lapse.
Disclaimer – the above commentary is general in nature and should not be construed as tax or financial advice. Please consult a licensed tax accountant and financial adviser to determine whether the above information is suitable for you.