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Data matching for online accommodation platforms

Posted by Northadvisory on August 20, 2018

Individuals that have or may be engaged in providing accommodation services through an online platform will have that data collected by the ATO. The data collected includes:

  • Names of owners
  • Addresses (both rental property and residential)
  • Date of birth
  • Contact details; and
  • Whether the entire premises or part was listed

The data will also be linked against Australian financial institution data to provide information regarding individual taxpayers to the ATO ranging from the 2016/17 to 2019/20 financial years. The ATO will collect the data, including the bank details linked to the accommodation account, for the 2016/17 to 2019/20 income years. Through the bank details, the Commissioner will get a list of individuals who should have declared rental income during those years. For many people this will be a straightforward data matching process.

Online accommodation platforms are websites where an individual can list their primary residence (or rental property) for short-term rental income. For example, listing your house when you are away on holidays.

What’s important to note is, if there is some rental income earned on your principal place of residence, there is potentially some capital gains tax which may be payable on your eventual sale.

If you use their principal place of residence for short-term accommodation, there is:

  • a requirement to declare income received, and
  • also a potential for capital gains event to apply on the eventual sale.

ITAA 1997 s 118-185 states that only a partial main residence exemption will apply should the property be used for income-producing purposes during the ownership period.

For properties that are not the main residence of the taxpayer, the ATO is making various investigations surrounding the listing dates from each provider. Therefore, the ATO is able to hypothesise the length of time in which the property in question was listed as “available for rent”. The timing of when a property is available for rent is important from an income tax perspective.

If you have questions on any of the above issues raised, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Norman Ruan
Accountant
T: 02 9984 7774
E: normanr@northadvisory.com.au