Acting second commissioner Michael Cranston said the ATO will be ramping up face-to-face engagement with key taxpayers to protect revenue.
“While most wealthy Australians and their private groups do the right thing – contributing around $31 billion in income tax last financial year – some choose to avoid tax,” Mr Cranston said.
“We are shifting our approach and will be visiting our largest private groups to look at their tax affairs in real time, raise any concerns and resolve issues before companies lodge their tax returns.
“We risk-review all wealthy Australians and their private groups. About 30 per cent are considered high risk and we regularly ensure they are compliant through reviews, audits and the provision of advice.”
Mr Cranston said the ATO will sign off on the previous year’s tax returns of taxpayers who have been open and transparent about their affairs, have good compliance records and are considered low risk.
“This will provide certainty for about 30,000 privately-owned and wealthy groups that they will not be subject to audit for specific income years,” he said.
The tax office also outlined behaviours that are likely to attract its attention.