Show download pdf controls
  • Disclosure of business tax debts

    If your business meets certain criteria, we may disclose your debt information to credit reporting bureaus (also known as credit reporting agencies).

    We will not report your debt information to credit reporting bureaus (CRBs) if you're already engaged with us to manage your tax debts.

    On this page

    Criteria for reporting business tax debts

    We may report your business tax debt if you meet the following criteria:

    • You have an Australian business number (ABN) and are not an excluded entity.
    • You have one or more tax debts and at least $100,000 is overdue by more than 90 days.
    • You are not engaging with us to manage your tax debt.
    • You don't have an active complaint with the Inspector-General of Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) about our intent to report your tax debt information.

    An excluded entity is either a:

    • deductible gift recipient
    • complying superannuation fund
    • registered charity
    • government entity.

    We may decide not to report your tax debt information if you are experiencing exceptional circumstances.

    Engaging with the ATO to manage your debts

    If you are effectively engaging with us to manage your debt, we will not report it, even if it is $100,000 or more.

    Effectively engaging with us means that you have:

    • a payment plan and you are complying with the terms of the arrangement
    • applied for release from the tax debt
    • an active objection against a taxation decision to which the tax debt relates
    • an active review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or an active appeal to the Court
    • an active review with the AAT of a reviewable decision which may affect the amount of a non-complying superannuation fund's tax debt with the relevant regulator
    • an active complaint with the IGTO in relation to the tax debt.

    Exceptional circumstances

    You may be able to temporarily prevent the disclosure of your tax debt information if you are experiencing exceptional circumstances outside of your control.

    Exceptional circumstances may be, but are not limited to:

    • family tragedy
    • serious illness
    • impacts of natural disasters.

    These are assessed on a case-by-case basis as they will impact clients in different ways.

    We're committed to helping businesses with their tax and super obligations in difficult times. Contact us as early as possible and we'll work with you to find the best solution.

    Cash flow issues or financial hardship are not generally considered exceptional circumstances. However, if these circumstances are preventing you from managing your tax debt, contact us.

    Notice of Intent to disclose

    We will send a written notice (letter) if we plan to disclose your business’ tax debt.

    The notice will tell you:

    • about our intent to report your tax debt information to CRBs
    • that you meet the criteria for reporting
    • the information we intend to report to the CRBs
    • what steps you can take to avoid your tax debt information being reported
    • that you have 28 days from receiving the notice to take the necessary action.

    Contact us immediately to discuss your situation if:

    • you believe we’ve made a mistake with your debt balance
    • you disagree with our decision to disclose your debt balance to CRBs.

    Call the Disclosure of business tax debts enquiries line on 1300 303 570 between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

    We will work with you to check and manage your tax debts and obligations.

    If you’re worried you won’t be able to pay on time, or you’ve already missed a due date, we have options available to support you.

    If you are a small business, Dispute Assist is a free service that helps unrepresented small businesses with the dispute process.

    Find out about options for resolving disputes.

    Legislation

    The disclosure of overdue business tax debts legislation will:

    • support businesses to make more informed decisions because overdue tax debts will be more visible
    • encourage taxpayers to engage with us to manage their tax debts and avoid having them disclosed
    • reduce unfair financial advantage of businesses that do not pay their tax on time.

    See more on Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Tax Integrity and Other Measures No. 1) Act 2019 – Disclosure of business tax debts.

    Also see Taxation Administration (Tax Debt Information Disclosure) Declaration 2019External Link.

    Your privacy

    We only report your business tax debt information to CRBs that:

    • are registered with us
    • have signed a Deed of Agreement, agreeing to ATO standards on policies, practices and procedures.

    Details that will be reported to CRBs include:

    • your ABN
    • legal name, business name
    • the type of entity you are
    • the amount of your overdue tax debt.

    Your tax debt information will be removed from a CRB's credit report when you no longer meet the criteria. This occurs when you pay your debt in full or effectively engage with us to manage the debt.

    Your credit score and credit reports

    Find out how to check your credit reporting record through the Office of the Australian Information CommissionerExternal Link.

    Learn more about credit scores and credit reports at MoneysmartExternal Link.

    Registered credit reporting bureaus

    CRBs that have signed a Deed of Agreement with the ATO

    CRB

    ABN

    CreditorWatch Pty Ltd

    80 144 644 244

    Equifax Australia Information Services and Solutions Pty Ltd

    26 000 602 862

    Last modified: 12 May 2022QC 66118