Data Matching between the Department and Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
After long discussions since the past year or so, a gazette was published on 09 January 2019 stating that the Department of Home Affairs (and its arm, the Australian Border Force – ABF) will exchange data with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in an effort to monitor and ensure that business sponsors in Australia comply with their obligations, and work visa holders (e.g. subclass 457 and subclass 482) comply with their Australian visa conditions.
The Gazette is titled Notice of a Data Matching Program to Enhance Compliance in the Temporary Skilled Visa Program.
The Department will share to the ATO, the following details:
biographical details, including name, address and date of birth of clients who are, or were in the three most recently ended financial years, holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) or Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) primary visas; and
details of these clients’ business sponsors.
ATO will then match the above with their data holdings. These data will be exchanged on a periodic basis, and if there is any non-compliance found, action(s) may be taken against the business sponsor or the visa holder/applicant (for instance, cancellation of sponsor and/or visa).
Therefore, it is paramount that all information and documents submitted in your application to the Department are true and accurate. Sponsorship and/or visa cancellation carries serious repercussions. Furthermore, sponsoring company (and its officer) may be liable for civil and criminal penalties for breaching its sponsorship obligation.Penalties for each breach can reach above $100,000 for corporations and can include adverse records and imprisonment of up to 10 years.
If you are unsure whether you have continuously complied with your sponsorship obligations (for sponsors/employers) or your visa conditions (for visa holder/employee), you may want to have your cases audited to ensure that you are compliant.