Participating in our research
We want your views to help us shape the tax and super systems but the choice to participate in our research is yours.
You might be invited to participate in a survey, discussion group or an individual interview. We select a number of people from a list of potential participants that are representative of the groups we want to know more about, for example, business operators or tax agents. We make an effort to ensure we don’t ask you to participate in more than one survey or research project a year.
If you agree to take part in our research, your privacy is protected and you have a number of rights.
Your personal information
This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.
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If you participate in our research, your personal information remains confidential. We give research companies limited contact details to make it possible for them to conduct the survey. We do not give them tax file numbers and will not ask you for your tax file number as part of the research. We are not able to identify individuals and their responses from the results.
Our contracts with the research companies contain legally binding provisions to protect your privacy. They are bound by the same privacy and secrecy obligations that bind tax officers, for example, the privacy principles in the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act). The information we give them:
- can only be used for the specified ATO research activity and for no other purpose
- cannot be given to anyone else
- must be returned to us or destroyed at the completion of the research.
If you are invited to participate in ATO research you have the right to:
- ask the researcher to contact you at a time that is more convenient to you
- request verification that the research is being conducted on our behalf
- decline to give an answer to a question if you don’t want to answer it
- end the interview for any reason, for example you
- decide you don’t want to answer any more questions
- are unhappy with some of the questions
- are unhappy with the interviewer's manner.
What research companies must tell you
Research companies are also required to inform you:
- how you were selected to take part in the research activity
- the purpose for collecting the information
- that they have been contracted by us and are bound by the same privacy and secrecy obligations as tax officers
- that the research activity is voluntary and you are not obliged to participate.
Fraudulent people may tell you they are from the ATO to gain information for their own illegal purposes, including identity theft. If you are asked to take part in a survey and are not sure it is really us, check Current ATO research.
If you have any questions, concerns or feedback about our research activities, you can email Corporate Research.
We select our research participants to be representative of the groups we want to know more about. Your participation is voluntary and even if you agree to take part, you have a number of rights.