The Courier-Mail

Fraud crackdown to focus on visa holders

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ONE million visa holders will have their records crosscheck­ed by the tax office in a bid to crack down on fraud and dodgy training companies.

The Australian Taxation Office has been given the green light to check the names, addresses and other details of visa holders, their sponsors, and migration agents for four financial years from 2013-14.

The details will also include all internatio­nal arrivals and departures undertaken by visa holders, as well as education providers’ records.

The ATO estimated it would obtain the records of at least 1 million individual­s.

The records will be electronic­ally matched with ATO data to “identify non-compliance with registrati­on, lodgement, reporting and payment obligation­s under taxation laws”, the office said in a government gazette notice.

The ATO warned of an “elevated level of risk”, especially among visa holders lodging tax returns for the first time.

“Given the complexity, frequency, volatility and widespread effects of fraud ... it is considered prudent to continue to undertake this datamatchi­ng program to monitor compliance behaviour,” it said.

The financial records of over 10 million taxpayers will be scrutinise­d in coming months.

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