Australian tax office to audit 20 million foreign visa holders

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SYDNEY The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will investigate more than 20 million international visa holders and foreign students using data-matching audits to catch tax avoidance and enforce superannuation compliance, the agency said yesterday.

The three-year data matching audit will cross-reference information from the Australian government's Home Affairs Department with ATO records.

"It is estimated that records of 20 million individuals will be obtained over the course of the three-year period," the ATO confirmed with Reuters.

"These records will be electronically matched with ATO data holdings to identify non-compliance with obligations under taxation and superannuation laws."

Information on visa holders, foreign students, their sponsors, education providers and migration agents will be reviewed along with address records, travel movements and visa lodgments over financial years 2017-18 and 2019-20.