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  • Data retention

    The collection of data under this program protocol is expected to occur periodically throughout the period July 2018 to July 2020.

    The ATO is seeking to have the Privacy Commissioner exercise their discretion and allow the ATO to vary from the data destruction requirements contained in the Guidelines.

    The ATO is seeking to retain each financial year’s data for five years from the receipt of the last instalment of data on the basis that its retention is required for the protection of public revenue. Data is managed and destroyed in accordance with the requirements of the Guidelines and the National Archives of Australia's General Disposal Authority 24 - Records relating to Data Matching Exercises. Destroying the data earlier than the requested timeframe would hinder the ATO’s ability to protect public revenue because:

    • Individuals identified as not meeting their taxation obligations, including being partly or wholly outside the taxation system, may have been operating that way for multiple years. 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 instance, iterative. This includes the data being used to generate lodgment reviews with subsequent lodgments then being compared to the transactional data for accuracy. This process can occur over multiple years.
    • It would hinder the ATO’s ability to conduct long term trend analysis and risk profiling of the sharing economy - accommodation market.

    See the Submission to the Information Commissioner setting out the basis for seeking the variation to the data destruction guidelines and its impacts on individual privacy.

    Public notification of the program

    We will notify the public of our intention to undertake this program by:

    • publishing a notice in the Commonwealth government notices gazette in the week commencing 6 August 2018 - view the content of the gazette notice
    • publishing this data matching program protocol on the ATO website at
    • advising data providers they:
      • can notify their users - accommodation providers of their participation in this program
      • should update their privacy policies to note that personal information is disclosed to the ATO for data matching purposes.
      Last modified: 10 Aug 2018QC 56447