Sladen Snippet - ATO to disclose overdue tax debts to credit agencies

In the 2016-2017 Economic and Fiscal Outlook (, the Government announced that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) would be allowed to report to credit reporting agencies the tax debt information of entities that don’t effectively engage with the ATO to manage those tax debts.  Under present laws, the ATO is not authorised to report this information because of confidentiality of taxpayer information provisions in the Tax Acts.

The ATO and Treasury are continuing with their community consultation in relation to this measure, releasing draft ATO Guidelines in relation to the measure (

From these Guidelines, it is intended the measure will apply to entities (not being excluded entities, which are to include charities, government departments and statutory authorities, and superannuation funds) with an ABN, a tax debt, $10,000 of which is more than 90 days overdue and that entity has not “effectively engaged with the ATO to manage its tax debt”.

Effective engagement is said to be either entering into a formal payment plan in relation to the debt, lodging a Part IVC objection against a taxation decision to which the debt relates or appealing to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review or appealing to a Court against a decision to which the debt relates.

We await with interest release of draft legislation in relation to this measure.

Sladen Legal’s tax practice is highly experienced in advising and assisting with all matters relating to ATO disputes. 

To discuss this further or for more information please contact:

Neil Brydges
Special Counsel | Accredited specialist in Tax Law
Sladen Legal
M +61 407 821 157 | T +61 3 9611 0176
Level 5, 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3008, Victoria, Australia

Sam Campbell
Associate / Business Law
Sladen Legal
M +61 423 515 454 | T +61 3 9611 0135
Level 5, 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3008, Victoria, Australia