ATO Audit Triggers to Be Aware Of

When people hear the words “ATO Audit,” they usually either try to ignore it or take immediate steps to respond to the situation.

What many do not know is that being aware of the details you include in your tax return is essential to avoiding an ATO Audit. Doing your taxes accurately and honestly is the best way to ensure that you don’t invite attention from the ATO. Being proactive and meticulous with your tax return will help give you a good standing with the ATO and, hopefully, prevent an audit.

It is important to be mindful of your tax documents and ensure that everything is accurate and up-to-date. Double-check that all your information is correct and that you have the necessary documents needed before submitting anything to the ATO. As the ATO has shifted away from its more lenient approach to compliance, errors on your forms could lead to costly consequences. Be sure to double-check everything and make sure you are up-to-date with the latest regulations.

There are many ATO audit triggers. However, we would like to focus on the major ATO audit triggers: data-matching and ATO prefilling. Here, our tax consultant shares some of the things for you to take note of about what triggers an ATO audit:


Data-matching is a process used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to detect inaccuracies or discrepancies between data reported by taxpayers and data held by third parties including banks and employers. This data-matching process helps the ATO identify any potential non-compliance with taxation obligations.

Data-matching is a key ATO audit trigger. This is when the ATO matches information received from third parties, such as banks, employers, and other government agencies, to the information you provided on your tax return. If there is a discrepancy between the two, the ATO will investigate further.

To prevent an ATO audit due to data-matching, it is crucial to ensure that you accurately and honestly report all income, deductions, and other relevant information on your tax return. In addition, make sure you are paying the correct tax on all income and that you are not claiming deductions you are not entitled to.

Suppose the ATO believes there is a discrepancy between the information provided by a taxpayer and the information held by the third party. In that case, they may undertake an audit to investigate the matter further.

ATO Pre-Filling 

Another ATO audit trigger is ATO prefilling. This is when the ATO prefills your tax return information based on data from third parties. This data includes income, deductions, and other relevant information. The ATO may investigate further if there is a discrepancy between the information you provided and the prefilled information.

To prevent an ATO audit due to prefilling, it is important to review the prefilled information carefully and ensure it is accurate. If there are any discrepancies, you should contact the ATO and provide supporting evidence to explain the discrepancy. 


Data-matching and ATO prefilling are two important ATO audit triggers. It is crucial to ensure that all information on your tax return is accurate and honest and that you are paying the correct amount of tax on all income. Additionally, be sure to review the prefilled information carefully and contact the ATO if there are any discrepancies. Following these tips and working with a reliable tax professional can help you avoid an ATO audit.

SMB Accounting’s tax consultant can guide you and help ensure that you won’t face an ATO audit or, if you already are, that you’ll be taking the right steps so you can sort things through with the ATO. Contact us today to learn more about our services!