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27 Mar 15 On data matching in the taxpayer’s favour - the ATO responds

In 2015 TAXVINE No 9 (20 March 2015) MEMBER 48 wrote:

“It has been a long standing position that the ATO Data matching (IMS) never issues anything where the omission/correction on a ITR is in the taxpayer’s favour.

I have recently caught up with a very elderly person’s tax for a few years. The last one lodged by the 94 year old, self preparer bless his soul, was the 2010 year and he missed the Australian Superannuation Income Stream Tax Offset, some $4,500. So ATO data matching won’t give out any info of the missed data in the ITR, just keeps his $4,500 (he has other refundable credits/withholding).

Another example of how the ATO system is so biased towards their objective of collecting revenue, rather than ensuring people pay the correct amount of tax. It is really poor that this situation has existed for well over 20 years, and the ATO will still not issue IMS discrepancies for possible credit assessments.

(I guess they don’t have the resources to do this system upgrade, but we do have a mobile phone app!!)”


“The ATO thanks Member 48 for their feedback. Through initiatives such as the ATO’s prefilling service, we have been using our data matching systems to make it easier for taxpayers to complete their tax returns and get it right first time. Our pre filling service includes data for tax offsets such as the Australian superannuation income tax offset. As part of our re-invention, we have been exploring the potential to use our data in a smarter way to identify those instances where taxpayers have failed to correctly claim their entitlements, or have made other errors resulting in the overpayment of tax.”

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