The Australian Tax Office Is Teaming Up With The Swiss To Catch Tax Evaders

Starting next week the Australian Tax Office will be working with the Swiss Government to catch Australians who failed to declare assets hidden offshore during a recent amnesty period.

The one-off tax amnesty, which concluded on Friday, resulted in 5000 confessions relating to more than $4 billion in hidden wealth, the AFR reported.

The admissions means there could be $600 million in income returning to Australia over the next few months.

Tax officials have also been gathering their own intelligence, tracking online banking transactions and using information from an international informer who has provided the names of more than 120 Australians with Swiss bank accounts.

The ATO is also expecting more information in the new year.

“If there’s more on Australians from informants, we’ll get it because that’s the way the global networks work today,” ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston said.

Cranston said a good portion of the people taking advantage of the amnesty had “old family money” overseas.

To date, at least one person has admitted to $30 million in income and $120 million in assets held in offshore in countries including Switzerland.

Another individual has admitted to $80 million in assets and $20 million in income from overseas. While more than 30 people have revealed they had more than $1 million worth of income, another five people have admitted they had $10 million, all hidden offshore.

As part of the amnesty the ATO will only look at the past four years of tax and individuals will be liable for a maximum 10% penalty.

There’s more here.

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