ATO sets sights on lifestyle assets

   Posted by Admin

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has revealed that it will be requesting a further five years’ worth of policy information from over 30 insurance companies about taxpayers who own marine vessels, thoroughbred horses, fine art, high value motor vehicles and aircraft.
The ATO expects to receive information about assets owned by around 350,000 taxpayers from 2015-16 to 2019-20 as part of its data-matching program.
Insurers will be required to provide the ATO with detailed policy information where the value of assets is equal to or exceeds the following thresholds:
•    Marine vessels – $100,000;
•    Motor vehicles – $65,000;
•    Thoroughbred horses – $65,000;
•    Fine art $100,000 – per item; and
•    Aircraft – $150,000.
According to the Tax Office, information provided by insurers will be used as part of its compliance profiling activities.
Deputy commissioner Deborah Jenkins said knowing who owns these lifestyle assets helps the agency get a more complete picture about the actual financial situation of taxpayers as compared with what is reported on tax returns.
“If a taxpayer is reporting a taxable income of $70,000 to us but we know they own a $3 million yacht then this is likely to raise some red flags,” Ms Jenkins said.
“Regardless of your level of wealth, we all need to pay the correct amount of tax, and this data will allow us to ensure those people who can afford these kinds of items are doing the right thing, along with everyone else.