New Technology Against Tax Dodgers


Alan Baggett

I picked up the following article from the Sydney (Australia) Herald

You might think that this article is unimportant as the newsgroup is
for taxation issues in Canada however, over the last several years,
The Australian and Canadian tax agencies have formed extremely
extremely close ties. As a result some recent Australian tax
initatives were first found in Canada and so the reverse may soon be
true for this article.

Be warned.

ATO to use new tech against tax dodgers

February 24, 2004

The Australian Taxation Office has warned it will use new technology
to track Australians who use offshore tax havens to conceal income and
avoid paying tax.

The Australian newspaper reports Taxation Commissioner Michael Carmody
had greater powers to detect tax evasion through havens such as
Switzerland and the Channel Islands with sophisticated new technology
and data provided by Austrac, which monitors all banking transactions
to and from Australia.

But the federal Opposition has accused the tax office of
underestimating the problem of offshore tax abuse.

The ATO said it would question at least 1000 taxpayers about their
offshore financial dealings after identifying suspect transactions
with tax haven countries using Austrac data.

The newspaper said a Bermuda institution has transferred more than $5
million to more than 500 individuals in Australia, which the tax
office said needed "further investigation".

It also warned that tax avoiders could be identified by ATM credit and
debit cards issued by foreign banks.

Mr Carmody said his office wanted to "help people avoid being enticed
into tax-abusive arrangements".

However, investors nowadays could use telephone and internet banking
to control their finances from anywhere in the world and both the tax
office and Austrac have admitted it was difficult to monitor such
transactions, The Australian said.


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