Compliance activities

We carry out compliance activities—including audits and investigations—to ensure that our clients pay the right amount of tax, duty or royalty, and that nobody receives money they’re not entitled to.

The information we collect comes from various sources, and our compliance activities identify people or organisations who are not meeting their obligations. Some of our collection methods include data matching, referrals from other agencies and random sampling.

We also receive information from the community about tax avoidance and fraudulent activity. If you know of someone doing the wrong thing, you can report it anonymously.

Compliance and you

If you do the wrong thing, unpaid tax interest and penalties may apply. We can also take firmer action by applying the full force of the law for those abusing the system.

It’s best to pay your tax liability on time or repay money before we take action. An early voluntary disclosure generally results in a better financial outcome for you.

If you are selected for a compliance activity, you will receive a call, letter or email from an OSR officer. The communication will clearly state what you need to do and when you need to do it by. If you are required to attend an interview, we will contact you to arrange a time and place.

Our investigators may need to visit your premises as part of an investigation. If so, they have the authority to:

  • enter public places and places of business during their normal opening hours
  • enter residential premises with consent (or a warrant)
  • inspect, copy and seize documents and things.

After an audit or investigation, we will provide you with:

  • an explanation of our findings, including reassessments
  • the reason for penalties and interest (if these apply).

You have a statutory right to:

  • expect your affairs to be treated confidentially
  • seek a review of assessments and or decisions.

Our client charter promotes an open and fair relationship with our clients in accordance with the law. It applies to all compliance activities that we conduct.

Last updated: 13 February 2020