Building industry data matching

ATO collects building industry data as part of pilot building industry
suppliers data-matching project to identify and address non-compliance with tax

Data obtained for the building services industry data-matching program

  • complaints information – to assist us in identifying knowledge and
    information gaps within the industry where education could promote more
    complaint behaviour
  • licensing information
  • purchase information from building industry suppliers.

Data matching is one of the main indicators we use to detect businesses
participating in the cash economy. Our objective is to promote a ‘level playing
field’ that is fair for all, by making it harder to get away with not reporting
cash income.

How ATO Collects data

ATO obtaines details of individuals or businesses that hold a trade
account with purchases between $10,000 and $3 million in the 2009-10 financial
year from a major Australian warehouse chain.

ATO also obtaines complaints and/or licensing information for the 2009-10
and 2010-11 financial years from:

  • New South Wales Fair Trading
  • the Queensland Building Services Authority
  • the Government of South Australia, Consumer and Business Services.

How ATO use the

Building industry data is used to pilot the approach of using supplier data
to identify businesses in the building industry who use cash transactions to
avoid their tax obligations or who fail to report some or all cash transactions.

ATO use the data to identify:

  • individuals and businesses that may be running a part of their normal
    business activities off the books or operating underground by avoiding their
    obligations to register and lodge returns, particularly in relation to
    transactions between consumers and business
  • risks and trends of non-compliant behaviour by individuals and businesses
    that operate in the building services industry.

Where ATO identify taxpayers that appear to have not declared all, or part, of
their income ATO will either:

  • write to them asking them to explain the inconsistency and offering them the
    opportunity to make a voluntary
  • contact them directly through our audit area.

In cases where individuals or businesses fail to comply with their
obligations – even after being reminded of them – other actions may be
appropriate, including default assessments of tax liabilities.

Data-matching projects help protect honest taxpayers, by deterring, detecting
and dealing with those who have not complied.

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