Last month the Australian government implemented a new Data Matching Program in respect of temporary visa holders, which is intended to identify any potential fraud and non-compliance with Australia”s taxation laws.

Information submitted to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for immigration applications between 1 July 2008 and 31 March 2011 will be matched against data held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The Commissioner of Taxation issued a notice on16 November regarding the new Program.  An extract follows:
“”The ATO will request and collect names and addresses and other details of entities who have applied for all temporary residence visas including, amongst others, 457 and 417.

These will be electronically matched and analyzed with certain sections of the ATO data holdings to identify potential refund fraud and other non-compliance with lodgment and payment obligations under taxation law. Records relating to individuals who applied for and were granted temporary residence visas will be matched.’

In respect of 457 temporary work visas, companies should ensure they are paying the nominated “guaranteed earnings” specified when the visa application was submitted (not withstanding annual salary increases).

We also advise companies to check they are paying the correct superannuation, or that any exemptions have been noted in the assignee”s file.

Contact Newland Chase