Our tax system relies on your honesty to voluntarily self-assess and comply with your tax obligatons.
Our compliance approach aims to:
- encourage and assist you to comply by providing information and tools
- detect and deter non-compliance by taking a targeted, risk-based approach
- provide a level playing field and minimise disruption to you and your business.
We ensure compliance by employing a range of compliance activities across the taxes and benefits we administer.
Information we exchange with the ATO
We work closely with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to share information and data.
We use ATO information to:
- identify businesses that should be registered for payroll tax by using the data from business activity statements (BAS)
- identify differences in payroll tax by matching ATO’s data on business wages, salaries and fringe benefits with our data
- identify discrepancies in property-related sales for duties and exemptions for land tax
- identify recipients of first home benefits who receive a duty exemption or concession, and recipients of the First Home Owner Grant who may not have met the eligibility and residency requirements, through rental and tax return information.
The ATO uses our information to:
- identify businesses that should be registered for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding tax
- identify discrepancies in property-related sales with reference to income tax, goods and services tax, fringe benefits tax and capital gains tax.
If you have tax liabilities eg you must lodge a payroll tax return, you may also have federal tax and superannuation liabilities. If you must lodge a payroll tax return, you must also withhold tax from payments to employees and provide superannuation. Check your federal tax and superannuation obligations on the ATO website.
Interest and penalty tax
You will be charged interest and a penalty tax if you commit a 'tax default' under the taxation and revenue laws we administer.
Sometimes, you can make errors because you don’t understand your legal obligations. We’ll help you update your tax affairs and understand your obligations. We conduct regular investigations to ensure you pay the correct tax or duty. We provide the highest standards of integrity and service when conducting our investigations.
Computer assisted verification
Sometimes, when we do audits and investigations, we use computer assisted verification techniques to analyse electronic financial records. These techniques are not appropriate in every case.
We are a member of an inter-agency Phoenix Taskforce, a whole-of-government approach to combat phoenix activities and identify individuals and entities engaging in fraudulent activity.
Read more about the Phoenix Taskforce.
Contact us to make a voluntary disclosure of understated liability, or to report a member of the public. Voluntary disclosures attract a reduced level of interest compared to cases where we identify the understatement.
Read more about voluntary disclosures.
Our 2019-20 compliance results
In 2019-20 we:
- completed 166 duty audits and identified over $1.2 million in additional duty
- audited 2,300 EDR transactions that targeted exemptions and concessions and identified $183,000 in additional duty as well as exemptions and concessions that were incorrectly applied
- investigated 265 surcharge purchaser transactions and recovered $7.8 million in additional duty
- investigated 3,931 customers who did not pay land tax surcharge, identified and recovered $42.1 million in additional surcharge
- investigated 613 motor vehicle transactions and identified $357,000 in additional duty
- investigated 19,142 landholders who were not assessed for land tax or had incorrect exemptions applied, identified 13,834 new liabilities and recovered $167.7 million in additional land tax
- conducted 211 landholder duty investigations and land rich landholders and identified an additional $43.3 million in duty
- investigated over 3,327 parking spaces that were not assessed for parking space levy or had incorrect exemptions applied, identified 1,118 new liabilities and recovered $8.6 million in additional Parking Space Levy
- audited 2,831 registered payroll tax customers and identified $107.1 million in additional payroll tax
- completed 203 refund request claim audits and reduced refund payments by $7.1 million
- identified over 675 employers not yet registered for payroll tax and informed them of their potential obligations and assisted 210 of those businesses to get their assessments right the first time without penalty
- investigated over 850 other unregistered businesses with undeclared liabilities, assessed 95 per cent of those we contacted and recovered over $32.6 million in additional payroll tax
- audited 49 Job Action Plan customers and reduced payment approvals by $22.2 million
- completed 87 First Home Owner Grant investigations with 70 per cent of investigations finding recipients having to repay the grant and penalties totaling $835,000
- completed 58 First Home Plus and First Home-New Home investigations with 80 per cent of investigations resulting in duty exemptions or concessions being repaid - including $626,000 in additional duty, interest and penalties
- completed 66 insurance duty investigations and identified $13.6 million in additional duty, interest and penalties
- completed 14 mineral royalty investigations and identified $1.3 million in additional royalty, interest and penalties
- completed five health insurance levy investigations and identified $252,000 in additional levy, interest and penalties.