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  • Recoverable advances and payments report

    We make in excess of 12 million payments annually. There is a robust control environment in place to ensure that these payments are made correctly. However, given the complexity of tax law, the systems needed to administer it and the potential for human error it is inevitable that from time to time some incorrect payments will be issued.

    Incorrect payments become debts which are recoverable under certain provisions of the Taxation Administration Act 1953. Some incorrect payments, by their specific nature, fall under the provisions for recoverable advances or recoverable payments.

    Section 15D of the Act requires that we publish information about recoverable advances and payments. This includes advances and payments that occur in one financial year, but which are identified and reported in a later financial year. This is referred to as ‘deferred reporting’.

    The following tables fulfil those requirements.

    Recoverable advances and payments 2018–19

    Type

    2018–19

    Advances

    Incidents

    nil

    Number (clients)¹

    nil

    Value²

    nil

    Payments

    Incidents

    64

    Number (clients)

    56,291

    Value

    $186,177,499*

    * Value is largely attributable to:

    • One incident accounted for 44,497 (79%) of the total numbers and $133,955,959 (72%) of the overall value. The Outbound Correspondence system hardware failed and Notice of Assessments (NoAs) were not released to meet the deemed service legal provisions. The issue was remediated in full by generating the NoA and no money was required to be repaid to the Commissioner.
    • Three other incidents combined accounted for 11,512 (21%) of the total numbers and $28,775,699 (15%) of the overall value. These incidents have been fully remediated, one without debt recovery being required.
    • Two one-off incidents affecting two clients accounted for $20,117,668 (11%) of the overall value.
    • One incident was due to the introduction of a new measure which resulted in 68 clients receiving incorrect refunds accounting for $2,035,579 (1%) of the overall value. This matter has been remediated and a system fix has been implemented to prevent reoccurrence.

    An administrative data error was identified in the reporting of the 2017–18 information. The previous and adjusted amounts are shown below:

    Type

    Previous 2017–18

    Adjusted 2017–18

    Advances

    Incidents

    Nil

    nil

    Number (clients)¹

    nil

    nil

    Value²

    nil

    nil

    Payments

    Incidents

    58

    59

    Number (clients)

    3040

    3250

    Value

    $2,532,028

    $7,780,841

    Deferred reporting

    Type

    Reported in 2018–19³

    Payments

    Number

    nil

    Value

    nil

    ¹ ‘Number’ means the number of advances/payments issued by the ATO.

    ² ‘Value’ means the dollar amount of advances/payments issued by the ATO.

    ³ The figures in this column represent recoverable advances/payments reported in 2018–19 but which occurred in a previous financial year.

      Last modified: 30 Oct 2019QC 37262