• Appendix 14: Use of access powers

    Our published Access and information gathering manual contains the policies and procedures for using our powers.

    In most circumstances we work cooperatively with taxpayers and third parties in obtaining relevant information without us having to exercise our formal powers.

    The use of formal information gathering notices is necessary where third parties such as financial institutions provide private tax-related information to us. They are also necessary in some cases to establish the relevant facts and evidence in audits, and other investigations.

    On eight occasions we also needed to gather relevant information using our powers to obtain access without notice.

    During 2010-11, 3,466 formal notices were issued across all markets to obtain relevant information and documents. These instances covered situations where we combined notices for information and documents with notices requiring formal interviews.

    TABLE 7.34: Formal access and information gathering powers used by the Commissioner, 2010-11

    Access

    Approved submissions

    • With notice
     

    81

    • Without notice
     

    8

    TOTAL

    89

    Formal information gathering notices

    Number of notices

    • Information or document
     

    3,220

    • Attend and give evidence
     

    188

    Formal offshore requests

    58

    TOTAL

    3,466

    Use of assumed identities

    Our staff may use assumed identities to gather intelligence and evidence against individuals and criminal networks under investigation. Under the Crimes Act 1914, we are required to regularly audit records of authorisations and revocations of assumed identities.

    There are no current authorisations for our field intelligence staff to hold assumed identities.

      Last modified: 31 Oct 2011QC 28036