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  • Submission to the Information Commissioner

    Varying from the data destruction requirements

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is seeking approval for the ride-sourcing data matching program 2015-16 to 2018-19 to vary from one or more of the conditions detailed in Guideline 10 of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration (2014) (the Guidelines).

    We are seeking to retain each financial year’s data for five years from receipt of the final quarters’ verified data files from the data providers. We consider that a variation from the usual retention periods for this data matching program is in the public interest as:

    • a retention period of five years will enable the ATO to cross reference taxpayer records retrospectively
    • the nature of the discrepancy matching that occurs under this program will be, in some instances, iterative, occurring over multiple years.
    • it would enable the ATO to conduct long term trend analysis and risk profiling of the ride-sourcing market
    • destruction of the data would inhibit the ATO’s ability to identify taxpayers who may be subject to administrative action and therefore result in loss of public revenue

    The ATO has determined that this variation will not affect the privacy of an individual.

    The retention period sought aligns with the requirement for taxpayers to keep their business records.

    This program will be subject to an evaluation within three years which is consistent with the requirements of Guideline 9.

    Additional information justifying this variation is included in the tables below:

    • Table 1 – matters considered in accordance with Guideline 10.2 in seeking this variation
    • Table 2 – consistency with requirements of the other guidelines issued by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
      Last modified: 18 Dec 2017QC 50759