For a long time, the ATO has been using data-matching practices to ensure individuals and businesses correctly declare their income and claim offsets and other benefits in line with the law.
Recently, the ATO have expanded their reach into your information, so it's important to be across what is now being assessed, to ensure that you're compliant.Previously, data matching was largely focused on data from Centrelink, as well as interest and dividends, but these parameters are now being expanded to include other areas, such as property sales data, collected from land title offices.
For medical professionals, the ATO now receive summary reports from various providers, which include data related to research grants, WorkCover payments etc. This also includes rural and educational grants, and other untaxed payments received by doctors, that occasionally get forgotten about at tax time.
These changes mean that it's more important than ever before to ensure that your record keeping is up to date and that you're declaring all income earned. We recommend having a designated bank account that all practice income, including grants, is banked in, so that there's no confusion about what you need to report. Also be aware that you may need to request additional information on some payments, to ensure accuracy.
If you're unsure about what needs to be included, or you suspect you've missed something, you should check with your accountant. It's much better to be proactive and make sure that everything's as it should be, than have the question asked by the ATO. Your accountant can check what income information the ATO have collected on you in previous years, as well as advise on your current income streams to ensure you're covered across the board.
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