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.
We may issue you with an offshore information notice for any information or document that we reasonably believe is:
- relevant to the assessment of a tax-related liability of yours
- "offshore information" or an "offshore document"
"Offshore information" is any information that is:
- within the knowledge (whether exclusive or otherwise) of an entity outside Australia;
- recorded (whether exclusively or otherwise) in a document outside Australia;
- stored (whether exclusively or otherwise) by any means whatsoever outside Australia.
An 'offshore document' is any document that is outside Australia (whether or not copies are in Australia or, if the documents are copies of other documents, whether or not those other documents are in 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 documents requested in the notice, then that information or those documents (or secondary evidence of the documents) are inadmissible in any court or tribunal proceedings relating to a tax-related liability of yours, 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 the assessment of a tax-related liability of yours to 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 not complying.
Time given to comply
We give you at least 90 days to comply with an offshore information notice. You can download the approved form Request for extension of time to comply with an offshore information notice (PDF, 242KB)This link will download a file for an extension of time to comply with the notice. That application must be received by us prior to the expiry of the period stated in the notice. We will consider your application and provide you with a response in writing.