We keep hearing that “the rich” don’t pay their fair share of tax. That somehow they are able to avoid paying too much in the way of taxation. That is why the ATO single them out for special attention. Well the Auditor-General has audited the ATOs High Wealth Individual audit program.
The ATO has also had a particularly extensive HWI active compliance focus, conducting audits and risk reviews of over 90 per cent of the population between 2009–10 and 2012–13 and collecting almost $852 million as a result of these compliance activities ($671 million from audits and $181 million from risk reviews).
Sounds like a lot of money – good thing the ATO is onto it. But then we read:
However, the results of these activities have not always been commensurate with the level of effort deployed by the ATO. Over the four‐year period, 90 per cent of the cash collected was from 12 per cent of the audits and five per cent of the comprehensive risk reviews undertaken by the ATO. The majority of these audits (70 per cent) and comprehensive risk reviews (84 per cent) did not have a financial outcome.
Looks like most HWI are compliant with the law of the land.