On October 22 2019, the Australian Government passed legislation allowing the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) to disclose the tax debt information of businesses to registered CRBs (Credit Reporting Bureaus). This law received royal assent on 28 October 2019.

The purpose of this new legislation is:

  • To encourage communication between businesses and the ATO regarding tax debts.
  • To support and encourage more informed decision making in the business community.
  • And to reduce the unfair advantage businesses that do not pay their taxes on time, often get.

Under this law, the ATO is able to disclose tax debt information of a business, when certain criteria are met. This criterion is set out in the draft Legislative Instrument which must be registered before the ATO can disclose the tax debt information.

The ATO will only disclose this information if a business meets all the following criteria:

  1. It is not an excluded entity and has an ABN.
  2. It has one or more tax debts (of which a minimum of $100,000 is overdue by more than 90 days).
  3. It is not effectively engaging with the ATO to manage tax debts.
  4. There is no ongoing complaint about the reporting of the entity’s tax debt information being considered by the Inspector-General of Taxation.

The ATO has plans in place to notify a business in writing if they meet the criteria, and offer them 28 days to respond, to avoid having its tax debt information reported. But, the ATO will only give information to CRBs if they are registered with the ATO and have entered into an agreement detailing the terms of the reporting.

Businesses which are engaged with the ATO to manage their tax debts will not have their tax debt information reported to CRBs.

If you require additional information on this issue, please contact Calvados + Woolf Lawyers on 07 3252 9933 or reception@calvadoswoolf.com.au


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