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Find out about the purpose and objectives of this program.

Last updated 21 December 2022

Under the program, the ATO obtains bulk data consisting of information reported to AUSTRAC for:

  • international funds transfer instructions
  • threshold reports (excluding gambling)
  • threshold reports (including gambling)
  • solicitor transactions reports
  • suspicious matters
  • cross-border movement of monetary instruments (including physical cash and bearer negotiable instruments).

This program compliments the existing cooperative framework that allows AUSTRAC and the ATO to perform their respective legal functions efficiently and effectively. The joint framework commenced in 2005 under the Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 and now continues under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006External Link (AML/CTF Act). The operation of the framework is agreed in the joint Memorandum of understanding between the two agencies.

Due to recent Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020External Link (effective 17 June 2021) changes to the AML/CTF Act, this data-matching program is to complement the established joint framework.

Since 2005, the AUSTRAC transaction report information (AUSTRAC data) has been disclosed to the ATO on a regular basis, and this continues under the original joint framework . This protocol outlines our use of AUSTRAC data from 17 June 2021 to 30 June 2027.

AUSTRAC data is an important source of financial intelligence for the ATO.

The ATO uses AUSTRAC data for the administration and enforcement of tax and superannuation laws to:

  • ensure entities, including individuals are meeting their tax and super obligations
  • detect potential high-risk transactions, including money movements in and out of Australia
  • identify and quantify compliance risks and suspected fraud to develop compliance strategies support the selection of compliance cases for further investigation
  • joint investigation and/or prosecution of serious criminal activity including tax evasion, money laundering or serious and organised crime.

This data-matching program follows the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) Guidelines on data matching in Australian Government administration (2014).

The guidelines assist Australian Government agencies to use data matching as an administrative tool in a way that:

  • complies with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act)
  • is consistent with good privacy practice.

The ATO has a responsibility to protect public revenue and to maintain community confidence in the integrity of the tax system. Our data-matching programs assist us to fulfil this responsibility.