As a taxpayer, it is important that you stay up to date on any changes that are released by the Australian Taxation Office. Changes and updates could affect you, your tax debt and your assets. It is our goal to keep you well-informed on the most current updates from the ATO.

In the midst of the 2016-2017 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the government released a new Treasure Transparency Measure notification regarding upcoming updates to the system.

What is the treasure transparency measure notification ?

As of 1 July 2017, the ATO will be able to disclose the tax debt information of businesses to credit reporting bureaus. The change affects any taxpayer with an Australian business number (ABN) which has a debt balance exceeding $10,000 for at least 90 days. When this occurs, they will have their debt information reported by the ATO if the taxpayer is not effectively engaged.

This measure does not oblige the ATO to disclose this information. However, the ATO will have the discretion to disclose the tax debt information to credit reporting bureaus.

Who will this affect ?

This will only affect those businesses that have not effectively engaged with the ATO in an effort to manage these remaining debts. Specific circumstances and exceptions for disclosure will still be confirmed through the consultation and design process we provide here at Pherrus.

As a guide, tax debts can be reported when the following apply to the debt balances :

  • The debt balance is greater than $10,000 for at least 90 days without the taxpayer engaging with the ATO to manage these debts.
  • The debt balance is related to a taxpayer with an ABN. This includes individuals who operate as a business.
  • When tax debts are not under an active payment plan to repay the debt.
  • When the tax debt is not subject to a dispute with the ATO.

How will the new measure work ?

To ensure that this transparency measure is implemented and administered appropriately and effectively, the ATO will work together with the Treasury. This will also help ensure the appropriate management of identified risks.

Along with working with the Treasury, the ATO will also be consulting with the community. This includes businesses, industry groups and associations which will all ensure this new measure is implemented effectively.

Implementation of the new Treasure Transparency Measure will occur under a phased approach, ensuring that the processes are assessed and assured. During the beginning phases of this new approach, only a small number of taxpayers will be initially reported to the credit reporting bureaus.

What are your next steps ?

If you are unsure if this will effect you, or know that it will but you have further questions, we are here to help. At Pherrus, we hold true to our philosophy that your success is our success.

If you aren’t sure what your next steps should be, please feel free to give us a call, or go to our website and fill out a form to request a free consultation with one of our tax specialists. Let us help you!

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