From July 1, 2017, the Australian Taxation Office will be allowed to disclose information about a business with an Australian Business Number to credit reporting agencies if that business has a tax debt of $10,000 or more that is at least 90 days overdue & not under arrangement. The government says it expects the change will encourage businesses to pay their tax debts in a timely fashion to avoid doing damage to their credit ratings.
“Under the measure, the ATO will have discretion to disclose tax debt information to credit reference agencies. The measure does not oblige the ATO to disclose this information.
“We understand that from time to time taxpayers have cash flow issues and we work with them to repay debts, for example using payment arrangements.
“Taxpayer debts will only be reported to a credit reference agency if a taxpayer remains disengaged after the ATO has exhaustively pursued pre-litigation procedures to collect the overdue debt.
“Debts genuinely in dispute will not be reported nor will debts under payment arrangement. Taxpayers who are working with the ATO to resolve their debt will not have it reported.
Debts will only be reported where:
- The debt is for a taxpayer that has an ABN
- The debt amount is over $10,000 and unpaid for over 90 days
- The debt is not in dispute
- No payment plan has been established or an existing payment plan has defaulted.
“The ATO will notify a business that it intends to refer its tax debt to a credit bureau before it passes on the information.
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