30 Jul 2012

Australia signals stronger tax scrutiny

8:06 am on 30 July 2012

An accountant says firms doing business in Australia should expect stronger scrutiny from its tax department over the coming year.

The Australian Tax Office has issued its compliance programme in which it details the areas it will focus on.

That includes the cash economy, the use of tax havens to hide assets, related party transactions that shift profits out of the country, the greater use of international information sharing to catch evaders and a focus on very wealthy people.

PWC tax partner Geof Nightingale says cash-strapped governments are looking for every last dollar they can find - and Australia is no exception.

He says New Zealand firms with an Australian presence should be aware they are in a high compliance environment where their structures, financing and transactions will be scrutinised.

New Zealand's Inland Revenue will put out its compliance programme next month.