The ATO is going to start comparing data from state and territory main roads’ departments with tax returns in an effort to identify tax cheats.

The Tax Office has advised that “these records will be electronically matched with ATO data holdings to identify noncompliance with obligations under taxation and superannuation laws.”

Essentially, the ATO is going to determine if the car being driven is in line with the money the owner claims to have earned.

The ATO will obtain information about vehicles with a purchase price or market value equal to or greater than $10,000, that has been newly registered or transferred within the tax years ending 2017, 2018 and 2019.  Specifically they will have access to the market value of the vehicle, what it was purchased for and where it is garaged.

The intention of the ATO is to:

  • Obtain intelligence about taxpayers who buy and sell vehicles to “identify risks and trends of noncompliance with taxation and superannuation obligations”;
  • Identify taxpayers buying and selling motor vehicles who may not be meeting their obligations and ensure the correct reporting of income; and
  • Identify taxpayers who have purchased vehicles with values that are not in line with the income they have reported.

The strategy is to identify fraudulent behaviour commonly associated with cash-in-hand businesses, money launderers and organised crime.