Offshore information notices

If we believe that the information or documents we need about your tax affairs are located outside Australia, we can issue you with an offshore information notice – for example, under section 264A of the ITAA 1936.

An offshore information notice may be issued if we have a reasonable belief that the information relevant to your assessment is:

  • within the knowledge of a person outside of Australia
  • recorded in a document outside of Australia
  • kept by means of mechanical, electronic or other device outside of Australia.

An offshore information notice will request you to:

  • give us the relevant information
  • produce the relevant documents
  • make copies of the relevant documents and produce those copies.

Although we are not required to specify a period to which our request relates to in these notices, we will generally provide you with these dates.

The information we request in the notice does not need to be in your custody or under your control. There are no penalties or criminal sanctions for non-compliance with an offshore information notice. However, if you refuse or fail to give us the information or document requested in the notice, then that information or document (or secondary evidence of the document) is inadmissible in any court or tribunal proceedings disputing your assessment, unless we consent to it.

You can challenge our decision to issue an offshore information notice under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.

Form of an offshore notice

An offshore information notice we issue must be in writing and include:

  • the legislative provision under which it is issued
  • your name
  • your address for service
  • the date of issue
  • details of your assessment for which the information and documents are relevant
  • information to be given, the documents to be produced and the documents to be copied and produced
  • details on how to comply with the notice, including      
    • the time you have to comply
    • names of our contact officers
    • the address to which the information, documents and copies are to be sent
    • any other requirement as to the manner in which compliance is required
  • the consequences of failure to comply.

Time given to comply

We give you 90 days to comply with an offshore information notice. You may apply for an extension of time to comply with the notice. That application must be received by us prior to the due date stated in the notice. We will consider your application and provide you with a response in writing.

    Last modified: 26 Jul 2016QC 37592