ATO looking to disclose business tax debt info
Saturday 5 October 2019
In its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook in 2016–2017, the government announced it would change the law to let the ATO report business tax debt information to credit reporting bureaus (CRBs) where a business consistently avoids engaging with the ATO to manage a tax debt.
Tip: The ATO can’t currently pass on this sort of information because Australian law contains strict confidentiality requirements for ATO-held taxpayer information.
The ATO has said it “recognises the important role businesses play in the Australian economy [but] when an entity avoids paying its tax debts it can have a significant impact on other businesses, employees, contractors and the wider community.”
It has released a consultation paper to facilitate consultation between the ATO, businesses and CRBs.
If passed in its current form, the amended law would allow taxation officers to disclose information about business tax debts when certain conditions are met.
A business would need to have debts of at least $100,000 overdue by more than 90 days, and have not effectively engaged with the ATO to manage that debt.