ATO matching data with property managers

Discussion in 'Accounting & Tax' started by D.T., 8th Jun, 2021.

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  1. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Hello

    My industry contacts tell me that ATO has requested data from the head offices of various trust accounting programs such as Property Me, Rest, Console, and all those. This is so they can data match all the transactional data with what the landlords declare to ensure its correct.

    EG saying you lived in the property til April for CGT purposes but rental transactions begin in March, or you claiming cost of X for something when its entered into the PM software as Y.

    Also when getting EOFY statement, make sure your PM does it by transaction date not by statement date. By transaction date ensures it matches what the ATO is looking for, ie when the transactions took place rather than simply a sum of the statements.

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  2. Paul@PAS

    [email protected] Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    This is nothing new. However...If their use of Airbnb data is anything to go on it was badly done. I and clients spent too much time trying to convince the ATO they used part year data (they would miss some transactions) and it was less than the actual rent reported by clients as it was often net amounts after fees were deducted. They didnt even have property by property address based data. I found all it did was waste taxpayer and ATO time by making the taxpayer show why the ATO was incorrect and that income was fully declared. However for undeclared reporting I guess there is nowhere to hide. IMO its "adhoc" rentals rather than those who do it continually that pose the higer risk as being undeclared.

    The ATO should be accessing property data, gross amounts and fees paid and then match this. Even then many use multiple platforms.so the reported income may exceed that of each platform and include direct bookings on top. In each case it was necessary to produce platform by paltform reports and tie this all to annually reported income. It really treats compliant taxpayers as suspects until they disprove themselves as diligent.

    I have also seen bad agent matched data when more than one agent was used in the year OR the agent changes doftware or ownership at some poit. Then we find ourselves showing them two agent summaries = one rental schedule.

    ATO are getting slightly better but some properties have wierd database issues. eg 23 Short Street may be a corner lot and its legal title is 12 Main Road and in some cases agent has 12-18 Main Rd or even Cnr Main & Short etc.
     
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  3. Villemus

    Villemus Member

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    Sorry to dig up an old thread...
    Really interested to find out how this has been tracking, talking to my realestate agent, they said ATO has not requested any data from them. But then if they request the data from software provider such as "REST Professional" etc, are they in any position to provide this data? I would have thought that they'd require indvidiual consent to share data?

    this feels like google just shares my email inbox to the ATO because they want to do a data match, but then maybe it is 2 different issues
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    What does the privacy statement advise? Both yours with the agent & the contract between the IT platform & the agency?
     
  5. Villemus

    Villemus Member

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    that's teh bit that is unknown to me, I don't remember signing anything stipulates the sharing of data to 3rd party such as government agency with my property agent. but then I could be wrong.

    Also if a platfrom that's not cloud based means the provider would not have access to the data, which then they need to ask the individual agent to provide.
     
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, it will reside on their agency's server.
     
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  7. Villemus

    Villemus Member

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    My agent uses "Rest Professional", which I am not sure if it's offline or cloud based...

    Not that I am trying to game the system, but just the feeling of unknowingly sharing data to ATO needs a bit of getting used to, but knowing Banking data etc is already being shared, this shouldn't come as surprise.
     
  8. Antoni0

    Antoni0 Well-Known Member

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    Where ever there's a GST content paid by your RE, it will be connected to your ATO number.
     
  9. Villemus

    Villemus Member

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    right! that's actually new knowledge to me, never thought my TFN was provided to the property management company (again I maybe wrong). And not sure if RE lodges TFN related info to ATO.
     
  10. Antoni0

    Antoni0 Well-Known Member

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    My accountant seems to have access to the end of year statements from the RE at the ATO, I did sign something allowing the accountant to have access though, I'm pretty sure it's connected to your TFN.
     
  11. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    Ahh this old chestnut.

    With regard to a residential property, my PM doesn’t have my TFN and I’m pretty sure your PM hasn't got yours. There’s no requirement to supply your TFN. It’s not law.

    Let the ATO do the matching between a rental property and a tax return. Good luck with that. Labour intensive exercise with little return for the effort. Scare mongering will achieve a better result for the ATO.

    There used to be matching done through various systems such as PPS and RPS which covered various industries but not rentals. But these systems were quickly exploited by those who wanted to cheat. They were made redundant by the ATO when GST came in and decimated the cash economy lol not.

    Do the right thing and there’s nothing to worry about.
     
  12. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

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    The lesson here is clearly this:
    It's best to self manage if you are looking to commit tax evasion!
     
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  13. Antoni0

    Antoni0 Well-Known Member

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    You can't escape unless you have a shelf company offshore for the RE to pay into, anything banking related the ATO with have free-range on, and it's connected to your TFN.
     
  14. Ross Forrester

    Ross Forrester Perth business advisor and founder Business Member

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    Real estate agencies do not give client data to the ATO.

    This concept could easily be discussed as a forward planning issue - but that is a long way off reality.
     
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  15. Villemus

    Villemus Member

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    this is what I always thought too, and can't imagin private software companies providing data to ATO without out getting consent ... or maybe they already have in the signup process...

    The question is not around evading tax, but more so on the accuracy of data and the subsequent trouble. e.g. we have a property where myself pays for the strata / property insurance (this doesn't go through the agent), hence if they load the data, there are things to be explained followed up.
     
  16. Antoni0

    Antoni0 Well-Known Member

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    You need to keep proof of any deduction for a few years after your tax return, I pay a lot of contractors myself to do repairs on my IP and just hand the receipts to the accountant and they work out the tax deduction, if it's all above board, and you can prove everything nothing will happen. I'm pretty sure they just chase the people with obscurely large amount of deductions.
     
  17. Paul@PAS

    [email protected] Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    They do. This doesnt in itself mean something is or isnt deductible. However there is a strong correlation between high expenses being capital and being incorrectly claimed. I have seen receipts for repairs that were in themselves building works that were not deductible. I have also seen people with costs for items that appear to be capital in nature which are deductible and worth $30K or more.

    Real estate agencies DO GIVE information to the ATO. When asked and issued a notice which occurs from time to time but is not a standard data request under any projectI am aware of to seek a blanket gathering of data. s353-10 of Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 is a very broad power with default penalties for non-compliance that are a criminal offence to fail to comply basically akin to a court order. Some platforms do have such a blanket notice eg Airbnb, stayz, booking.com etc andthe Commissioner makes no secret about it. There is zero requirement for consent OR for them to advise you of the notice however. It can apply to all their clients or just one or may even be a postcode if they wanted. No court authority is needed. However internal ATO policies will require the request is approved by senior staff so "fishing" inst allowed but detection of suspected risk activities is.
     
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