New data on shares helps tax­pay­ers to get it right

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS -

THE Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice (ATO) is once again ex­tend­ing its data match­ing pro­gram, this time fo­cus­ing on share data. Ac­cord­ing to as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner Kath An­der­son, the lat­est data match­ing pro­to­col will see the ATO con­tinue to re­ceive share data from the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ment Com­mis­sion (ASIC). “The data in­cludes de­tails of the price, quan­tity and time of in­di­vid­ual trades dat­ing back to 2014, with more than 500 mil­lion records ob­tained,” Ms An­der­son said. “The in­for­ma­tion com­ple­ments in­for­ma­tion that the ATO al­ready holds from bro­kers, share reg­istries and ex­changes.” The ATO will use so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy to match the data against in­for­ma­tion re­ported in tax re­turns and other ATO records. “We will use the in­for­ma­tion to iden­tify tax­pay­ers who have not prop­erly re­ported the sale or trans­fer of shares as in­come or cap­i­tal gains in their in­come tax re­turns,” Ms An­der­son said. “Hav­ing ac­cess to in­creased data will help us to pro­tect hon­est tax­pay­ers, by de­tect­ing those who have not done the right thing.” Ms An­der­son said share trans­ac­tions are high on the ATO’s pri­or­ity list given more than five mil­lion Aus­tralian adults now own shares, and the ATO in­tends to also make the in­for­ma­tion avail­able to tax­pay­ers as part of the tax re­turn pre­fill ser­vice in the fu­ture.

There are a few sim­ple rules tax­pay­ers buy­ing and sell­ing shares should fol­low to avoid mak­ing mis­takes on their tax re­turn.

● First, make sure you keep good records of share pur­chase and sale prices, as well as costs like bro­ker­age fees. If you sold part of your share hold­ings, you will need to keep records of the par­cel you sold and the par­cel you are still hold­ing. This in­for­ma­tion is crit­i­cal in cal­cu­lat­ing your cap­i­tal losses or gains.

● Sec­ond, make sure you de­clare your cap­i­tal gains in your tax re­turn.

● Fi­nally, if you have made a cap­i­tal loss this year, re­mem­ber you can­not claim it as a de­duc­tion in your re­turn. How­ever, you can off­set the loss against any cap­i­tal gains you make this year, and if there is any loss re­main­ing you can carry it for­ward to re­duce any fu­ture cap­i­tal gains you make. Ms An­der­son said tax­pay­ers or tax agents who re­alise they have made an er­ror or left out their gains should not panic. “If you re­alise you made a mis­take, con­tact the ATO as soon as pos­si­ble,” she said. Tax­pay­ers con­tacted by the ATO will be given the op­por­tu­nity to ver­ify in­for­ma­tion col­lected from data providers be­fore any com­pli­ance ac­tion is un­der­taken and will be given at least 28 days to clar­ify any in­for­ma­tion ob­tained. De­tails of the ATO’s data match­ing strate­gies are pub­lished at­match­ing.

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