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  • Non-pursued debts

    A non-pursued debt is an outstanding tax debt we have placed on hold and chosen not to pursue collection at that time. The reason we do not pursue is usually because it is not economical for us to do so. A debt deemed uneconomical to pursue can be re-raised at a later date if your circumstances change.

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    Non-pursued debts

    When we make the decision not to pursue collection of your debt at a point in time:

    • we notify you by letter we have paused debt collection, but it may be re-raised in future depending on your circumstances
    • in Online services you will see a transaction with the description ‘non-pursuit’ on your statement of account, for the relevant account
    • your non-pursued debt amount will not show as an outstanding balance on your account, as we have made it ‘inactive’, but the debt is still on your record
    • although we may have decided not to pursue your debt at a point in time, the debt will remain owing. General Interest Charges (GIC) may apply automatically to what you owe.

    See also:

    Making payments towards your non-pursued debt

    If your circumstances change and you are able to pay all or part of your debt, you can pay at any time using the options listed in ato.gov.au/howtopay, or contact us to discuss payment options.

    Offsetting credits

    Offsetting is where we use a credit or refund from one account to pay off an outstanding debt on another account.

    We may offset credit from one of your accounts to reduce the amount owing on your non-pursued debt. We will notify you when a debt is re-raised to offset a credit.

    This type of offset can be found on your statement of account and in your Online services account with the description 'Offset'.

    Your review rights

    The law requires us to offset credits against any tax debt you owe, except in limited circumstances.

    For information about your rights and obligations visit taxpayers' charter.

    Re-raising non-pursued debt

    We may re-raise some or all a tax debt we previously decided not to pursue where new information becomes available that suggests recovery of the debt is now possible.

    We may reactivate your non-pursued debt if:

    • your situation has changed, and we have reason to believe you are now able to pay the debt
    • you agree to pay your non-pursued debt
    • we offset a credit against your non-pursued debt.

    Notifying you

    When a debt is re-raised, we will write to you to notify you of:

    • the source of the debt
    • the amount of interest charged
    • the circumstances which caused the debt to be re-raised.

    What to do if your debt is re-raised

    When we send you a letter to notify you that your debt has been re-raised, you need to pay the outstanding amount in full by the due date indicated.

    If you are unable to pay by the due date, you may be able to set up a payment plan to pay in instalments.

    See also:

    View a non-pursued transaction in ATO Online

    Individuals and sole traders:

    • visit Online services for individuals
    • select the Tax drop-down menu
    • select Accounts
    • select Tax accounts
    • choose the account you want to view
    • select Filter
    • update the 'from' date to 01/01/2000
    • scroll through the account or download CSV (Excel) file and search for the following transactions ‘non-pursuit’ 're-raise of non-pursuit', 'partial re-raise of non-pursuit' and 'cancellation of non-pursuit'. The net amount of the debit/s minus the credit/s is the remaining non-pursued balance.

    Registered tax professionals:

    • visit Online services for agents
    • visit View client list or Favourite clients (if you have added client to favourite list)
    • choose Client identifier
    • select the Accounts and payments drop-down menu
    • select Tax accounts
    • choose the account you want to view
    • select Filter
    • update the 'from' date to 01/01/2000
    • scroll through the account or download CSV (Excel) file and search for the following transactions ‘non-pursuit’ 're-raise of non-pursuit', 'partial re-raise of non-pursuit' and 'cancellation of non-pursuit'. The net amount of the debit/s minus the credit/s is the remaining non-pursued balance.

    Businesses:

    • visit Online services for business
    • select the Accounts and payments drop-down menu
    • select Tax accounts
    • choose the account you want to view
    • select Filter
    • update the 'from' date to 01/01/2000
    • scroll through the account or download CSV (Excel) file and search for the following transactions ‘non-pursuit’ 're-raise of non-pursuit', 'partial re-raise of non-pursuit' and 'cancellation of non-pursuit'. The net amount of the debit/s minus the credit/s is the remaining non-pursued balance.
    Last modified: 24 Jun 2021QC 66102