Employers beware: Are you recording all expat employee remuneration?

Are you recording all expat employee remuneration?

Ablean Saoud and Daniel Hodgson explain why it is crucial employers track all remuneration paid to inbound assignees.


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With the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) audit teams issuing notices to Australian inbound assignees for remuneration items reported overseas, it is imperative all remuneration items wherever paid globally are tracked, analysed and reported correctly in Australia.

This follows the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which has tax administrations from 65 jurisdictions around the world, actively sharing financial information on individuals.

While it may be your employees who are receiving the audit notices in reference to their income tax affairs, it is the employers/payers’ obligation to ensure pay-as-you-go (PAYG), Single Touch Payroll (STP) Reporting, fringe benefits tax (FBT) and Employee Share Scheme (ESS) Reporting obligations are correctly met for your inbound employee population including; short-term and long term assignees; business travellers and project workers.

Increased data sharing

We know the ATO now has access to an astonishing amount of financial data via foreign tax jurisdictions. The breadth of the available information was revealed recently by the ATO, which highlighted several countries that not only provide reciprocal data, but also exist as the homeland for many inbound assignees or where the assignees are receiving remuneration income.

The scope and source of the information on inbound taxpayers is not limited to offshore tax administrators. As of 2018, following the passage of new legislation, data sharing has increased between the ATO and the Department of Home Affairs, with the Department now able to request a tax file number (TFN) from an individual and disclose this information to the ATO.

Add to this real-time reporting, such as STP; there’s little room for error when it comes to reporting your inbound population’s remuneration income.

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