Immigration and tax authorities to begin data matching program

21 Oct 15

AUSTRALIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? A program to match data records between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Taxation Office has been published in the Government Gazette.

What does the change mean? The records of approximately 1 million visa holders – including names, visa status, sponsor details (457 visas), and other information – will be shared between the DIBP and the ATO.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: The records affect visa holders, sponsors and migration agents from financial years 2013-2014 through the 2016-2017 financial year.
  • Business impact: The data matching program is intended to ensure compliance with registration, lodgement, reporting and payment of taxation and superannuation obligations under the tax laws.
  • Next steps: The program does not require any affirmative steps by businesses or individuals. The data will be matched electronically between the two agencies.

Background: According to the Gazetted notice, the records the DIBP will provide to the ATO include the following information:

  • Name, address history, contact history for visa applicant and sponsor.
  • All visas granted.
  • Visa grant status by point of time.
  • All international travel movements by visa holder (arrivals and departures).
  • Sponsor details (Subclass 457 visas).
  • All migration agents and their address history and contact history.
  • Education providers where student visa holder intends to undertake study.
  • Visa subclass code and descriptor.

The data matching program will cover the records of approximately 1 million individuals during financial years 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. The ATO will use the program to make sure visa holders, sponsors and migration agents are meeting their obligations, as well as to identify fraud, improve voluntary compliance and test existing compliance models. The program complies with standards to protect privacy.

BAL Analysis: The Australian Government is increasing its efforts to track compliance with tax laws through immigration records. All sponsors should conduct internal compliance checks.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact australia@balglobal.com.

MARN: 9683856

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