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  • Accessing the deceased person's information

    The ATO can only disclose the information of a deceased taxpayer where permitted under the Taxation Administration Act 1953. More specifically, a taxation officer can lawfully disclose information concerning a deceased taxpayer to a ‘covered entity’ if they are the deceased person’s ‘legal personal representative’ (that is, they are an executor or administrator and have been granted probate or letters of administration).

    A disclosure of protected information will not be made to family members or an individual named as executor in a will until probate or letters of administration are granted. It is not until this takes place that the Commissioner has confirmation that he is dealing with the person legally recognised to administer the estate.

    The ATO may speak directly to an executor or family member who chooses not to seek probate or letters of administration, in limited circumstances, for the purposes of the ATO administering taxation laws. It does not extend to providing broader information that would assist in the administration of the estate. ATO officers will assess any request for information on a case by case basis. In these circumstances, the Commissioner will not record the person as an authorised contact for the deceased estate.

    Last modified: 10 Oct 2018QC 56976