The ATO is warning the net is closing on taxpayers with undeclared offshore assets or income and that the offshore voluntary disclosure initiative, Project DO IT, is the only way to avoid steep penalties and criminal prosecution.
The ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston says increased international co-operation, improved technology and intelligence gathering means it’s not a matter of “if” you’ll get caught, but rather “when”.
“Project DO IT is a never-to-be-repeated opportunity to come clean and put your offshore tax affairs in order and come back into the tax system.”
“Generally, you’ll only have to pay the tax owing plus interest, on the undeclared assets or income for the past four years, with the penalty capped at 10%.”
“That’s a lot more lenient than the regular penalty which can be as high as 90% and the ATO can go back to the beginning of any offshore arrangement.”
“Project DO IT means you’ll also avoid any criminal investigation by us and we won’t voluntarily share your information with other Australian law enforcement agencies on the matters you disclose.”
Michael points out that the ATO can automatically exchange taxpayer information with more than 60 countries and can retrieve taxpayer information from more than 100.
With the possibility of heavy penalties including up to six years in jail, he says putting-off taking advantage of Project DO IT until the 19 December 2014 deadline is not worth the risk.
“If we detect your undeclared assets or income, before you come to us via Project DO IT, you’ve missed the boat, even if it’s before December 19.”
“You’ll feel the full force of the law, so my advice is…don’t put it off, make your disclosure now!”
For more information go to ato.gov.au/projectdoit
|Project DO ITMake a voluntary disclosure of:
Do you need to make a voluntary disclosure?
Click on these common scenarios
o 1300 132 346, or
o email firstname.lastname@example.org
If there are any queries please do not hesitate to contact our office on 07 3394 2311.