Saturday, October 23, 2021

Australian Tax Office to investigate Pandora Papers

The Australian Tax Office will investigate data from the Pandora Papers, which contains nearly 12 million leaked documents that revealed offshore accounts of famous political figures.

Will Day, ATO’s deputy commissioner and head of the Serious Financial Crimes Taskforce (SFCT), will investigate the data leak to identify any potential offshore tax evasion.

“We are well connected both locally and globally in our efforts to fight financial crime. We will of course look at this data set and compare it with the data we already have to identify any possible connections,” Day said in a press release on October 4.

He said being named in the data leak does not guarantee that a person is guilty of a crime.

“There are a number of legitimate reasons one might have an offshore bank account or structure. We know most Australians do the right thing. However, there are some who seek their ownership interests or financials through offshore arrangements. Let’s try to hide wrongdoings,” he said.

“The message is clear to those who try to deceive the system—your secrets are no longer safe, and you can expect to feel dire consequences for your actions. Any complicated money matters are too much for us to solve.” not hard.”

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ATO’s intelligence on tax evasion comes from a range of sources, including consultants, partner agencies, the community, and international bodies.

The Pandora Papers, revealed on October 4, contain more than 11.9 million financial records, the equivalent of 2.94 terabytes of data of confidential information. The figures are taken from 14 different sources.

In comparison, the infamous Panama Papers released in 2016 contained 11.5 million leaked documents and 2.6 terabytes of information.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shared the files with 150 media outlets and over 600 journalists from 117 countries. Australia’s public broadcaster, ABC’s Four Corners and Background Briefing, was also granted access to the leak.

“From the first data leak, we responded quickly through JITSIC,” Day said. “JITSIC brings together 42 national tax administrations that have committed to more effective and efficient methods of combating tax avoidance and evasion.”

JITSIC member countries will collaborate to develop a more accurate picture of what the data reveals.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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