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Lifestyle assets data

Last updated 14 May 2023

Find out about lifestyle assets data and what we do with the data we collect from the program.

Lifestyle assets data overview

We are seeking external data to cross-reference with our internal data holdings and to assist with our risk profiling of taxpayers, including through inclusion in risk models. This data will provide us with information to:

  • deliver products and tailored education strategies to support taxpayers in managing their tax obligations, and
  • identify taxpayers at risk of not complying with their tax or superannuation obligations for referral to relevant areas for appropriate treatment.

If we identify taxpayers at risk of not complying with their tax obligations, appropriate treatment recommendations will result. The data in this program is not used for automated generation of compliance activities.

Where a taxpayer is correctly meeting their obligations, the use of the data will reduce the likelihood of contact from us.

In cases where taxpayers fail to comply with these obligations even after being prompted and reminded of them, escalation for prosecution action may be initiated.

Our previous related programs

The ATO has been conducting similar programs since 2011, including the lifestyle assets data-matching program which commenced with collection of data for the 2013–14 and 2014–15 financial years.

Data obtained through our compliance processes has proved useful in enhancing our interactions with taxpayers by providing us with a more comprehensive view of a taxpayer's wealth. Having information about assets prior to our compliance activities commencing, helps us to identify higher risk instances where the financial information returned by a taxpayer does not reflect their accumulated assets. It improves our understanding of a client's wealth and assists us to apply relevant tax laws to their situation.

Data providers

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

Data will be obtained from the following:

  • 1st For Women
  • AAMI
  • Allianz
  • Apia
  • Best Buy
  • Best Deal Insurance
  • Bingle
  • Budget Direct
  • Cashback Classic
  • CGU Insurance
  • Chubb Insurance Australia
  • CIL Insurance
  • Club Marine
  • Coles Insurance
  • CommInsure
  • COTA Insurance
  • Elders Insurance
  • GIO
  • Hollard Insurance Company
  • IAL
  • ING Insurance
  • Lumley Special Vehicles
  • Maxxia
  • Nautilus Marine
  • New Wave Marine
  • NRMA
  • Oceania Insurance
  • Ozicare
  • PANTAENIUS Australia
  • Qantas Insurance
  • QBE
  • RAA Insurance
  • RAC Insurance
  • RACQ
  • RACV
  • Retirease Insurance
  • ROLLiN Insurance
  • SGIC
  • SGIO
  • Shannons
  • Suncorp
  • Swann Insurance
  • Union Shopper
  • Vero
  • Virgin Insurance
  • WFI
  • Youi
  • Zurich Australian Insurance.

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 insurance services
  • the data owner provided insurance services for the years in focus
  • where 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

The data will be obtained under our formal information gathering powers, outlined in section 353-10 of Schedule 1 in the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

This is a coercive power that obligates the data providers to provide the information requested. We will use the information for tax and superannuation compliance purposes.

Privacy Act

Data will only be used within the limits prescribed by Australian Privacy Principle 6 (APP6) outlined 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.

Keeping data safe

The data-matching program will be conducted on our secure systems that comply with the requirements of:

All ATO computer systems are strictly controlled according to Australian Government security standards for government ICT systems, with features including:

  • system access controls and security groupings
  • login identification codes and password protection
  • full audit trails of data files and system accesses.

We use our secure internet-based data transfer facility to obtain the data from source entities.

Data elements collected

Data will be collected for the following classes of assets, where the asset value is equal to or exceeds the nominate thresholds.

Table 1: Asset value thresholds

Asset class

Minimum asset value threshold

Marine vessels


Motor vehicles including caravans


Thoroughbred horses


Fine art

$100,000 per item



We negotiate with the selected data providers individually to obtain data held within their systems. The collected data may contain all or a selection of the fields listed below.

Client identification details – individuals

  • given and surname(s) (if more than one name on the policy)
  • date(s) of birth
  • addresses (residential, postal, other)
  • Australian business number (if applicable)
  • email address
  • contact phone number.

Client identification details – non-individuals

  • business name
  • addresses (business, postal, registered, other)
  • Australian business number
  • contact name
  • contact phone number
  • email address.

Policy details

  • policy number
  • policy inception date
  • start date of current policy
  • end date of current policy
  • total value insured
  • purchase price of the property insured
  • registration number or identification number of the property
  • insurance category
  • policy cost
  • description of the property insured
  • primary use type.

Number of records

It is expected that the number of individuals affected by this data collection will be approximately 300,000 each financial year.

Data quality

We anticipate 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.

The data is sourced from providers' systems and may not be available in a format that can be readily processed by our systems. We apply extra levels of scrutiny and analytics to verify the quality of the data. This includes but is not limited to:

  • meeting with data providers to understand their data holdings, including their data use, data currency, formats, compatibility and natural systems
  • sampling data to ensure it is fit for purpose before fully engaging providers on task
  • verification practices at receipt of data to check against confirming documentation; we then use algorithms and other analytical methods to refine the data.

Data is transformed into a standardised format and validated to ensure that it contains the required data elements prior to loading to our computer systems. We undertake program evaluations to measure effectiveness before determining whether to continue to collect future years of the data or to discontinue the program.

To assure data is fit for consumption and maintains integrity throughout the data-matching program, it is assessed against the 11 elements of the ATO data-quality framework:

  • accuracy – the data correctly represents the actual value
  • completeness – all expected data in a data set is present
  • consistency – data values are consistent with values within the data set
  • currency – how recent the time period is that the data set covers
  • precision – the level of detail of a data element
  • privacy – access control and usage monitoring
  • reasonableness – reasonable data is within the bounds of common sense or specific operational context
  • referential integrity – when all intended references within a data set is valid
  • timeliness – how quickly the data is available for use from the time of collection
  • uniqueness – if duplicated files or records are in the data set
  • validity – data values are presented in the correct format and fall within predefined values.

Data retention

The collection of data under this program includes all financial years from 2013–14 to 2022–23. The data collection is annual following the end of each financial year.

Due to the number of data providers, we collect data periodically. We work co-operatively with the data providers and aim to balance our requests against peaks and troughs of demand in a data provider's own business.

The collection of 2013–14 and 2014–15 data under the original program was conducted between February and April 2016.

The ATO was granted exemption by the Privacy Commissioner to retain the data for 3 years in 2016 and a further 2 years in 2019. The total retention period was for 5 years from the receipt of all verified data files from the data providers. The exemption request was required to satisfy the National Archives of Australia's General Disposal Authority 24 (GDA24) – Records relating to data-matching exercises. GDA24 has now been revoked.

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

We will retain each financial year’s data for 5 years from receipt of the final instalment of verified data files from the data providers. The data is required for this period for the protection of public revenue as:

  • retaining data for 5 years enables us to conduct long-term trend analysis and risk profiling of the asset management and disposal practices. This data improved a holistic view of a taxpayer's assets and accumulated wealth.
  • an asset profile of taxpayers will be produced as the data becomes available; this enhances our risk assessment and compliance capability.
  • the data enhances our ability to identify taxpayers who may not be complying with their tax and superannuation obligations, which is integral to the protecting the integrity of the tax and superannuation systems
  • retaining data for 5 years supports our general compliance approach of reviewing an assessment within the standard period of review, which also aligns with the requirements for taxpayers to keep their records
  • the data is also used in multiple risk models, including models that establish retrospective profiles over multiple years aligned with period of review.

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