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Australia Amends Tax Debt Transparency Rules

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will gain the power to disclose business tax debts to credit reporting bureaus.

The Government is consulting on draft legislation that will allow such disclosures to be made where the business concerned has not effectively engaged with the ATO to manage the debt.

The aim is to place tax debts on a similar footing to other debts. According to explanatory documents released by the Treasury, the changes will strengthen "the incentives for businesses to pay their debts in a timely manner and effectively engage with the ATO to avoid having their tax debt information disclosed."

Revenue Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said: "Improving transparency by making overdue tax debts more visible will provide businesses and credit providers with a more complete assessment of the creditworthiness of a business."

"This will reduce the unfair advantage obtained by businesses that do not pay overdue tax debts, and encourage businesses to engage with the ATO to manage their tax debt."

The consultation will close on February 9.