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This is not advice. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. The information contained in these articles is for guidance only and should not be relied upon without obtaining professional advice having regard to your direct circumstances.

 

ATO to be told of tax cheats

The names of almost 2,000 possible tax cheats have been handed to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Under a global campaign to stop people using overseas credit cards to pay for extravagant, tax-free lifestyles, 1,800 names have been given to the ATO in a list from another country.

One New Zealander caught in the crackdown hid $20 million in an offshore account before retiring 10 years ago to live on tax-free income in Australia, Fairfax newspapers reported.

The man used a no-name credit card issued by a tax-haven bank and has never paid a tax return.

"People think of Australia as a great place to live or retire, but they aren't keen to pay the tax that keeps the place running," said Mark Konza, a deputy tax commissioner.

"There were taxpayers who believed that offshore accounts were the ticket to nirvana, to a tax-free world."

Australia's top tax havens are the Channel Island and the Caribbean as well as Switzerland and Hong Kong, the paper said.

The names were provided by a member of the seven-country Working Group on Tax Havens during a bank and broker investigation.

SMH July 18, 2006

 


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