The  ATO's request this week to the State Revenue Offices and Tenancy Boards for 32 years worth of data is stated as being part of their new watchdog role for Foreign Investment in property.    

But I don't think it's a co-incidence that the request will collect records from the day that Capital Gains Tax was introduced, 20 September, 1985.

There is a whole lot of cross checking that can be done from the information obtained on Australian residents as well as foreign investors.  The ATO will have property acquisition, disposal and all landlord details available to them, allowing cross checking of rental disclosures and capital gains/losses reported by taxpayers in their returns.

With that amount of data, no doubt the ATO smart systems will be running overtime with lots of 'exceptions' to investigate!