AUSTRALIA - DIAC/ATO Temporary Visa Data Matching Program
Australian authorities have launched a data matching program which aims to identify fraud and tax non-compliance by reviewing details provided to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for immigration applications (including 457 temporary work visa applications) and matching these against data held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
How Does the Data Matching Program Work?
The Commissioner of Taxation has issued a Notice in the Commonwealth Gazette no 45 (16 November 2011) regarding the Data Matching Program. This reads, in part:
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 analysed with certain sections of the ATO data holdings to identify potential refund fraud and other non - compliance with lodgement and payment obligations under taxation law. Records relating to individuals who applied for and were granted temporary residence visas will be matched.
Impact on Employers
457 visa applications require employees to be paid a specific salary in guaranteed earnings (i.e. not including non guaranteed allowances). This salary is specified when the application is submitted. The Data Matching Program will review what employers stated would be paid against what has actually been paid, according to data records. Any discrepancies will be investigated.
- Ensure that you are paying the nominated ‘guaranteed earnings’ as per the 457 visa approvals (not withstanding annual salary increases)
- Ensure that you are paying the correct superannuation contributions or, if exempt, that this has been noted on the assignee’s file.