Foreign income in the ATO spotlight – the aftermath of project DO IT

If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, you are taxed on your worldwide income, so you must declare any foreign income in your income tax return.

Foreign income includes:

  • Foreign pensions and annuities
  • Foreign employment income
  • Foreign investment income
  • Foreign business income
  • Capital gains on overseas assets

Project DO IT was an amnesty offered by the ATO to allow Australian residents to disclose overseas assets and income before 19 December 2014. There was reduced penalties on any tax on the income not previously disclosed and a ‘no questions asked’ basis was used when the assets were disclosed.

It has now been over a year since the project finished. The ATO has gone through its education and amnesty period and has now publicised their intention to target undisclosed foreign income. The ATO has been increasingly able to conduct data matching based on new international agreements and greater data sharing capabilities.

We suggest you carefully review your income from offshore sources and be sure to declare any income before the ATO catches up with you. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.