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Tax Commissioner launches offshore income voluntary disclosure initiative at Tax Institute convention

Publication date: 27 Mar 14 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

27 March 2014:   The Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan AO, announced a new offshore income voluntary disclosure initiative at The Tax Institute’s 29th National Convention in Hobart today.

Addressing more than 400 tax professionals at the National Convention, the Commissioner said 'Project DO IT: disclose offshore income today', provides a last chance opportunity to declare overseas assets and income to come back into the Australian tax system before December 2014.

“The latest voluntary disclosure initiative from the Tax Office is a pragmatic approach to repatriating potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian tax,” said the Tax Institute’s President, Michael Flynn,

“In an international environment that is lowering the veil of tax secrecy and sharing more information than ever before, the Tax Office is making a strong pitch to taxpayers.

“At first blush, the initiative appears to be much more generous than its predecessors and has taken into account lessons learned, but the devil will be in the detail.

“There are features setting this initiative apart: the ATO won’t go back beyond the standard amendment period, which is usually four years; and it may also agree not to tax taxpayers on the winding up of the offshore structures. These features show a new level of pragmatism on the part of the ATO.”

“However, there are features that taxpayers should be wary of, such as not being entitled to utilise certain losses.

“Taxpayers should be fully informed about the level of protection on offer before proceeding,” Mr Flynn concluded.

The Tax Institute’s National Convention, Australia’s premier tax conference, runs from 26 to 28 March in Hobart.

ENDS

Contact:

Robert Jeremenko,
Senior Tax Counsel, The Tax Institute: 0468 987 300

Dylan Malloch
Sefiani Communications Group: 0407 620 613

The Tax Institute is the country’s leading educator and professional association in tax. Its 14,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia. The Tax Institute supports the tax profession through education and professional development and works to continually improve tax law and its administration.