25 September 2023

ATO’s shareholding data to pay dividends

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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has extended its data-matching program to include company share holdings.

According to Assistant Taxation Commissioner, Kath Anderson, the ATO will use the information to identify taxpayers who have not properly reported their share transactions since 2014.

Ms Anderson said the ATO would 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.”

She said the ATO would 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. This helps ensure a level playing field for all.”

She said share transactions were high on the ATO’s priority list given more than five million Australian adults now owned shares.

“There is evidence that some taxpayers are getting it wrong when it comes to reporting their capital gains or losses from the sale of shares,” Ms Anderson said.

“In particular, we tend to see higher rates of error among those who don’t regularly trade in shares and who are not aware of the tax implications.”

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