Posted on April 22, 2019
ATO amnesty for offshore investments
If you have not declared your offshore income or assets and wish to bring the cash or investments back to Australia now is the last chance! The ATO have unveiled a new offshore disclosure initiative named “Project DO IT.”
Anyone with unreported offshore income or assets would be wise to look at the details of this initiative and have their full disclosure accepted before 19 December 2014.
What are the ATO’s promises to eligible taxpayers:
- You are eligible to make a full disclosure. Some exclusions apply in exceptional circumstances. We can provide advice regarding these exclusions if necessary.
- If the ATO accepts the disclosure, it will not form an opinion of fraud or evasion. For most taxpayers this will mean assessment of undeclared income for the last four assessment years.
- ATO offers generous penalties –
10 % of the relevant tax shortfall with no penalties payable where the additional income disclosed in a given tax year is $20,000 or less.
- ATO confirms that they will not investigate the relevant disclosure for the purpose of prosecuting those taxpayers for a criminal offence.
The ATO seeks to highlight the increased chances of detection of foreign assets through increased access to information from foreign governments and financial institutions. Adverse consequences can flow when taxpayers are detected, rather than making a full voluntary disclosure within the allowed timeframe.
The ATO is also offering some concessions for taxpayers who wind up their offshore structures. This may present opportunities for individuals who are considering bringing assets back to Australia.