The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has launched an investigation regarding the income and property that members of the Greek Diaspora have in Greece. Greek-Australians have a deadline until December 2014 to voluntarily declare all their homeland assets in order to avoid being considered as tax evaders and paying the full fine.
Greek-Australians have strong family and economic relations with Greece, which include various types of complex financial arrangements.
In many cases, people decide to leave assets behind when they migrate to Australia, sometimes because they often travel back to Greece or because they believe that it is possible for them to return permanently in the future. However, there are some people who hadn’t realized that they needed to pay taxes in Australia on income derived from those assets.
Therefore, ATO has intensified audits, examining data concerning Australians with offshore investments and bank accounts, as well as information from Australian and foreign banks on capital flows, income from capital services, account balances, offshore accounts and transfers to and from offshore bank accounts.
Furthermore, it was requested that Swiss Banks disclose customer information to authorities in the United States and, according to the new regulations, they may be forced to disclose information on a global level. Any information accessible to ATO will be used to prosecute taxpayers who failed to declare income derived from abroad. According to ATO, it is just a matter of time before authorities discover the undeclared offshore income.
Finally, ATO announced a new plan that will give Australian taxpayers the opportunity to voluntarily disclose any undeclared income and assets abroad before they are identified by authorities. This plan offers significant reductions in fines and other generous special discounts to encourage the voluntary disclosure of undeclared income. Australian taxpayers have a deadline until December 9, 2014, to report any undeclared assets.