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  • Appendix 10: Use of access powers

    Our published Access and information gathering manual contains the policies and procedures for using our powers.

    In most circumstances, we work cooperatively with taxpayers and third parties in obtaining relevant information without us having to exercise our formal powers.

    The use of formal information-gathering notices is necessary where third parties, such as financial institutions provide private tax-related information to us. They are also necessary in some cases to establish the relevant facts and evidence in audits, and other investigations.

    On two occasions we also needed to gather relevant information using our powers to obtain access without notice.

    During 2012–13, 6,467 formal notices were issued across all markets to obtain relevant information and documents. These instances covered situations where we combined notices for information and documents with notices requiring formal interviews.

    Table 4.25 Formal access and information-gathering powers used by the Commissioner, 2012–13


    Approved submissions

    With notice


    Without notice




    Formal information-gathering notices

    Number of notices

    Information or document


    Attend and give evidence


    Formal offshore requests




    Use of assumed identities

    Our employees may use assumed identities to gather intelligence and evidence against individuals and criminal networks under investigation. Under the Crimes Act 1914, we are required to regularly audit records of authorisations and revocations of assumed identities.

    There are no current authorisations for our field intelligence employees to hold assumed identities.

    Last modified: 06 Oct 2014QC 42614