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Landlord insurance data

About landlord insurance data and what we do with the data we collect under the program.

Last updated 8 June 2023

Landlord insurance data overview

Landlord insurance data will support the identification, assessment and treatment of rental property income, expenses and capital gains tax risks.

Education and online services

The landlord insurance data may be used for:

  • Online services – landlord insurance data may be made available to
    • tax professionals through pre-filling reports in Online services for agents, Practitioner Lodgment Service (PLS) and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled software
    • individual self-preparers through myTax.
  • informing rental property owners of their taxation obligations as part of an education campaign including, but not limited to:
    • advisory educational emails and letters
    • social media
    • posters and toolkits on our website.

Data analytics and insights

The data helps us:

  • design ways to make it easier for our clients to interact with the system and get their affairs right
  • compare the landlord insurance data with information a taxpayer reports in their rental property schedules and rental tax return labels.

Strategic approach to compliance

The data helps us:

  • identify relevant cases for administrative action including compliance activities and educational strategies
  • avoid unnecessary contact with individuals that are correctly reporting and claiming rental property income or expenses
  • identify relevant cases for administrative action
    • After you lodge a return, if we need to verify a discrepancy, we'll contact you by phone, letter or email.
    • Before we take any administrative action, you can verify the accuracy of the information we hold. You have 28 days to respond before we take administrative action associated with landlord insurance data use.

Previous related programs

Each year we conduct a review of a random sample of individual tax returns to calculate the difference between the tax collected and the amount we should have collected if they were fully compliant with the law. For the 2019–2020 financial year, we estimate there is a net tax gap of 5.6% or $9.0 billion for individuals not in business. Rental property risks underpin 14% of this net tax gap.

Each year we undertake the Property Management data-matching program to allow us to identify and address a number of taxation risks in the investment property market.

The ATO has also commenced acquisition of Residential Investment Property Loan (RIPL) data on approximately 1.7 million individuals from Australia’s nine largest financial institutions and their subsidiaries.

Data providers

The ATO is the matching agency and the sole user of the data obtained during this data-matching program.

We may obtain data from insurance companies and their subsidiaries, commonly known as the following:

  • 1300 Insurance
  • AAI 
  • AAMI
  • Allianz
  • Ansvar
  • ANZ
  • APIA
  • Australia Post
  • Aussie
  • Australian Unity
  • Bank of Melbourne
  • Bank SA
  • BankVic
  • Catholic Church Insurance
  • CGU
  • Coles
  • CommInsure
  • COTA Insurance
  • Elders Ins
  • Gallagher TIO
  • GIO
  • Great Southern Bank
  • Hollard Insurance Partners
  • HSBC
  • Hume Bank
  • IAL
  • Ian Berry
  • Loan Market
  • NAB
  • National Seniors Australia
  • NRMA
  • Over Fifty Insurance
  • Police Credit Union
  • QBE
  • RACV
  • RAMS
  • Ray White
  • SGIC
  • SGIO
  • Shannons
  • St George
  • Suncorp
  • Terri Scheer Insurance
  • Territory Insurance Office
  • Vero Broker
  • Vero Commerical Partners
  • Westpac
  • WFI

Eligibility as a data provider

We adopt a principles-based approach to ensure that our selection of data providers is fair and transparent.

Inclusion of a data provider is based on the following principles:

  • The data owner or its subsidiary operates a business in Australia that is governed by Australian law.
  • The data owner provides landlord insurance.
  • The data owner provided landlord insurance for the years in focus.

If the client base of a data provider does not present a risk, or the administrative or financial cost of collecting the data exceeds the benefit the data may provide, the data owner may be excluded from the program.

The data providers for this program will be reviewed annually against the eligibility principles.

Our formal information gathering powers

To ensure statutory requirements are met, we obtain data under our formal information gathering powers. These are contained in section 353-10 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

This is a coercive power, and data providers are obligated to provide the information requested.

We will use the data for tax and superannuation compliance purposes.

Privacy Act

Data will only be used within the limits prescribed by Australian Privacy Principle 6 (APP6) contained in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act and in particular:

  • APP6.2(b) – the use of the information is required or authorised by an Australian law
  • APP6.2(e) – the ATO reasonably believes that the use of the information is reasonably necessary for our enforcement-related activities.

Data elements we collect

We collect information from insurance providers on landlord insurance policies held by individuals. We negotiate with the selected data providers individually to obtain data held within their systems. The data we collect may contain all or a selection of the fields listed below, depending what information the data provider holds.

Policy owner identification details

Identification details include:

  • policy owner unique identifier
  • name (first name, other given name, surname)
  • date of birth
  • company, super fund or trust name (if applicable)
  • ABN (if applicable)
  • residential address
  • postal address
  • email address
  • contact phone numbers
  • bank account name
  • bank account BSB
  • bank account number

Landlord insurance policy details

  • policy number unique identifier
  • property unique identifier
  • financial year (the financial year of the active landlord insurance policy)
  • insurance brand name
  • policy name
  • policy type
  • building cover indicator
  • contents cover indicator
  • loss of rent cover indicator
  • start date of cover
  • latest renewal date of cover
  • end date of cover
  • number of days covered in the financial year
  • total cost of premium for the financial year (paid)
  • financial year for which the property is covered under the policy
  • property address
  • insured value of building
  • insured value of contents
  • insured value of loss of rent per week
  • insured value of loss of rent total
  • insured value gap cover
  • complete replacement cover indicator

Policy claim transaction details

Transaction details include:

  • policy number unique identifier
  • property unique identifier
  • claim identifier
  • claim unique transaction identifier
  • claim type
  • event date
  • event type and sub-type
  • assessed loss
  • limit indicator
  • claim payment receiver type
  • claim payment amount
  • claim payment date

Number of records

We expect to collect data on approximately 1.6 million individuals each financial year for this program.

Data quality

Sample data informs our expectation that the data quality will be of a high standard. Insurance companies have sophisticated computer systems and they have prudential and due diligence obligations to maintain the quality of their records, especially for actuarial purposes.

Data retention

We collect data under this program for all financial years from 2021–22 to 2025–26. We collect this data annually following the end of each financial year.

We work with the data providers and aim to balance our requests against peaks and troughs of demand in a data provider's own business.

We destroy data that is no longer required in accordance with the Archives Act 1983, and the records authorities issued by the National Archives of Australia, for both general and ATO-specific data.

We will retain each financial year’s data for 7 years from receipt of the final instalment of verified data files from all data providers. The data is required for this period for the protection of public revenue as:

  • The discrepancy matching that occurs under parts of this program is iterative in nature. This includes the data being used to generate lodgment reviews with subsequent lodgments then being compared to the transactional data for accuracy. This process can typically occur over multiple financial years.
  • Retaining data for 7 years does not change our general compliance approach of reviewing an assessment within the standard period of review and aligns with the requirements for taxpayers to keep their records.
  • Real estate such as a rental property that is sold potentially triggers a capital gains event. This can include a main residence that has been rented out for a period. A property may be retained for many years prior to disposal. Retaining the data is necessary to assess rental impacts for capital gains events.
  • The data is also used in multiple risk models, including models that establish retrospective profiles over multiple years aligned with period of review.
  • It will enable the ATO to conduct long term trend analysis and risk profiling of the rental property market to help inform education campaigns.
  • The data enhances our ability to identify taxpayers who may not be complying with their tax and superannuation obligations, which is integral to protecting the integrity of the tax and superannuation systems.

While increased data retention periods may increase the risk to privacy, we have a range of safeguards to appropriately manage and minimise this. Our systems and controls are designed to ensure the privacy and security of the data we manage.