An amnesty has been offered by the Australian Tax Office for Australian residents who own assets overseas that have not been declared to the ATO in an effort to clean up many existing arrangements that have been in place for several generations.
The Tax Office has confirmed that over 1750 Australians have declared income and assets under the amnesty with plenty more to come before the cut off date of 19 December 2014.
The ATO says this is the last chance for Australian taxpayers who hold undeclared assets and income overseas to come clean with the ATO and correct their books. The amnesty provides an assurance that there will be no criminal prosecutions made for any disclosures and that the tax payable will be capped to 4 years prior to the disclosure.
A recent treaty with Swiss authorities will allow greater cooperation between the countries and the recent G20 focus on tax havens will also provide further momentum to the ATO tracking down offenders.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers has a number of clients who have taken advantage of the amnesty and, in some cases, this involves the children and grandchildren of previous generations who have participated in holding assets and income overseas in order to avoid the payment of tax.
In some cases, children who are executors of their parents’ estates have been unwittingly drawn into the issue of dealing with overseas assets and income. The Project Do It is an ideal opportunity for Australian taxpayers to “wipe the slate” and have their tax affairs put in order.
If anyone has any queries or requires assistance in relation to a disclosure under Project Do It with the ATO, please do not hesitate to contact our office. It is a relatively simple exercise to notify the ATO of your intention to lodge a disclosure.
For enquiries please contact Donna Tolley on direct line 07 5506 8241, email [email protected] or freecall 1800 621 071.