In September 2015 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will match names and addresses and other details of 457 subclass visa holders, student visa holders, sponsors and migration agents for the 2013-14; 2014-15; 2015-16 and 2016-17 Australian financial years with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) data to identify non-compliance with tax return lodgement, tax registration and fraudulent activities.
It is reported that departing subclass 457 visa workers and foreign students are targeted by tax fraudsters and this data matching is aiming to identify the underpayment of taxes by businesses and money laundering by organised criminal gangs.
All standard business sponsors of 457 visa holders and employers of the student visa holders should check their systems of record keeping in accordance with the immigration and taxation law requirements to avoid adverse findings and penalties imposed by the ATO and DIBP.
In the case of any non-compliance with the law and regulations the taxpayer will be given the opportunity to comment and respond to the ATO findings within 28 days before any administrative action is taken by the ATO.
There is a danger for employers/sponsors that findings of non-compliance by the ATO will affect future sponsorship applications as the non- compliance with PAYG withholding , fringe benefit tax, payroll tax and superannuation obligations will be declared as ‘adverse information’ which prevents the grant of the standard business sponsorship.