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Tax Info Exchange Legislation Passes Australian Senate

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

29 February 2016


The Australian Parliament has passed legislation to automatically exchange tax-related information with other countries, under the OECD's Common Reporting Standard, from July 1, 2017.

According to a statement issued by Treasurer Scott Morrison, "the Standard will assist the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to crack down on taxpayers hiding funds and investments offshore in order to avoid paying their fair share of tax in Australia. By participating in this international effort, we are enabling the ATO to gather information on Australians who may choose to dishonestly hide foreign income offshore."

"The Standard ensures that the ATO will receive information annually on Australians' offshore accounts, such as investment income and balances, and use this information to check if the offshore income has been declared in Australian tax returns. In exchange, certain financial institutions in Australia will collect information on foreign residents' accounts and report it to the ATO. It will then be reported to the foreign residents' tax authorities," it said.

More than 95 jurisdictions have committed to implement the Standard. Australia intends for the initial exchanges of information to take place in 2018.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | investment | tax compliance | tax avoidance | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Australia | ministry of finance | offshore | legislation | tax planning | G20 | Tax | Tax Evasion

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