Selling shares or property? Why the ATO is looking over your shoulder

Written on the 1 March 2014

Data matching helps the ATO identify taxpayers that have not declared the full amount of income they make on their tax return. 

They are now looking to expand the sources of data they match to make sure they get every last cent owing from the 12.4 million individual income tax returns lodged. 

Treasury released a discussion paper on tax compliance and ATO data matching; putting forward ideas on some ways they wanted to increase the powers of the ATO to data match to cover areas such as sales of property, shares and units, and sales through merchant services.  And you can understand why given that in 2012 alone, the ATO identified 1.4 million anomalies in property sales data compared to what was declared on income tax returns for Capital Gains Tax purposes.

The discussion paper is a ‘warning’ of what is coming.  It’s likely that in years to come, the ATO won’t need you to tell them what you’ve been doing, they will already know.


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