The ATO has released details of its approach to wealthy individuals and their private groups. The ATO says it was taking a “prevention-before-correction approach and ramping up face-to-face engagement with key taxpayers”. Acting Second Commissioner Michael Cranston said most wealthy individuals and their private groups do the right thing; however, some choose to avoid tax, and that is why the ATO was shifting its approach. Mr Cranston said the ATO will be visiting the largest private groups to look at their tax affairs in real time, raise any concerns and resolve issues before companies lodge their tax returns.

According to the ATO, about 30% of wealthy individuals and their private groups are considered “high-risk”. Mr Cranston said there are about 175 private groups controlling almost 6,000 entities with more than id=”mce_marker”bn in turnover or $500m in net assets. He said the ATO will begin visits “by the end of the month”. Further, he said if taxpayers are open and transparent with the ATO, they can expect better services and faster turnaround on key decisions.

Further information is available on the ATO Building confidence, Privately owned and wealthy groups, webpage.

Source: ATO media release, 16 April 2015

[LTN 71, 16/4/15]