ATO Amnesty on Offshore Assets & Income
written by Darren Hagarty
Under an initiative known as Project DO IT, the ATO are encouraging taxpayers to re-engage with the Australian tax system by disclosing omitted income or over-claimed deductions relating to their offshore activities.
This amnesty is relevant to anyone with bank accounts established overseas, or who have moved to Australia and failed to disclose income from property and other assets they continue to hold overseas. It may also be relevant to those who have inherited offshore arrangements originally established by parents or other relatives.
The ATO have stated that eligible taxpayers who make disclosures under Project DO IT will:
- generally only be assessed for the last four years
- be liable for a maximum penalty of 10% of the shortfall (instead of potential penalties up to 90% of the shortfall)
- not be investigated by the ATO or referred for criminal investigation on the basis of their disclosure.
With a cut-off date of 19 December 2014, Project DO IT is an initiative unlikely to be repeated by the ATO according to industry experts. The ATO warn that taxpayers who do not take advantage of Project DO IT and who are later found to be concealing offshore assets or income will face the full force of the law.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact your PT Partners advisor.
Darren Hagarty is a Director of PT Partners.