Banking Day

Credit bureaus get access to ATO business debt data

25 July 2019 6:50am

Dodging debts owed to the tax office will be more difficult under a new law introduced to parliament yesterday.

The ATO will be able to refer a business with one or more tax debts, the total of which is at least A$100,000 overdue for more than 90 days, to credit reporting bureaus.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Tax Integrity and Other Measures No.1) Bill “will improve the integrity of the tax system by providing the ATO with the discretion to disclose to credit reporting bureaus the tax debt information of particular businesses that are not effectively engaging with the ATO to manage their tax debts,” Michael Sukkar, the Assistant Treasurer, said in a statement last night.

“This will reduce the unfair advantage obtained by businesses who do not pay their tax debts and will encourage businesses to engage with the ATO to manage their tax debts,” Sukkar said.

To support this reform Treasury published a draft Tax Debt Information Disclosure Declaration 2019.

This explains that for the purposes of working out whether an entity has one or more tax debts meeting the criteria in the bill, certain tax debts are to be disregarded.

“Generally, the tax debts that will not contribute to meeting this criterion are those for which the entity is effectively engaging with the Commissioner to manage or is taking action in accordance with the law to dispute.”

The ATO must also verify with that the Inspector-General of Taxation “that no complaint remains active by the entity concerning the disclosure of tax debt information of the entity that is, or could be, the subject of an investigation by the Inspector-General of Taxation Act 2003.”

Article by: Ian Rogers

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