• Services to governments and agencies

    We undertake data exchanges with other government agencies to assist them in administering their own legislation and to test taxpayer compliance with their laws.

    These agencies include Centrelink, Child Support Program, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and state and territory revenue offices. The memorandums of understanding we have in place with these agencies provide governance arrangements for the exchange of data.

    This year our data-matching activities included:

    • payments made by state and territory education departments (including authorised building management groups) in relation to the Building the Education Revolution Program
    • payments made by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in relation to the Home Insulation Program
    • details from Centrelink on payments of Family Tax Benefit Part A to ensure taxpayers' eligibility for education tax refund purposes
    • details from Centrelink on payments of Family Tax Benefit Part B to support compliance work around eligibility for claiming of the dependent spouse, child-housekeeper and housekeeper tax offsets.

    More information is available on our data-matching activities.

    TABLE 4.8: Some of the agencies we worked with in 2010-11

    The Australian Government Information Management Office - Department of Finance and Deregulation

    We contribute to the Australian Government Online Service Point which provides individuals with simple, convenient access to government information, messages and services.

    Australian Agency for International Development

    We contribute to the Australian Government's overseas aid programs, including through capacity building initiatives in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Pacific region.

    Australian Bureau of Statistics

    We provide aggregated data on personal income tax, self-managed superannuation funds, and unit record information on companies, partnerships, trusts, business, individuals and the Australian Business Register. This supports the bureau's statistical products, including counts of Australian businesses, the national regional profile and the Australian national accounts.

    Australian Crime Commission

    We work together on joint taskforces such as Project Wickenby, Criminal Asset Confiscation Taskforce and the Financial Intelligence Assessment Team.

    Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

    Joint administration of goods and services tax, wine equalisation tax and the luxury car tax.

    In July 2010 we assumed responsibility for the administration of all excise equivalent goods under delegation from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

    Our work has helped provide taxpayers with a single entry for all their customs and excise obligations in this area, including combined forms, processes and communication products, reducing the cost of compliance.

    Australian Federal Police

    We work together to share intelligence, refer cases and undertake joint operations to investigate suspected criminals and bring about successful prosecutions. Through the Criminal Asset Confiscation Taskforce we have increased focus on the identification and confiscation of proceeds of crime.

    Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

    We access and use AUSTRAC data to facilitate the administration of and enforcement of taxation laws.

    Department of Human Services - Centrelink

    We work with Centrelink to facilitate recovery - through garnisheeing tax credits - of outstanding debts owed to the Australian Government by their customers.

    In 2010-11, we intercepted over 36,000 refunds of a value totalling approximately $26 million on behalf of Centrelink.

    Department of Human Services - Child Support Program

    We provide income data for assessing the amount of an individual's child support payments. We also provide details of tax credits that could be intercepted to facilitate recovery of debts owed by parents.

    In 2010-11, we finalised 113,725 Child Support Program-referred lodgment obligations. This exceeded the agreed target of 85,500. This resulted in the interception of $15 million in tax refunds and their transferral to the Child Support Program for the benefit of dependent children.

    Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

    We exchange information concerning the Carbon Sink Forest measure.

    Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)

    We are responsible for administering Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) loans on behalf of DEEWR. DEEWR provides us with HELP and SFSS data to facilitate administration of these programs. These loans are repaid to the ATO either as compulsory or voluntary repayments. In 2010-11 we collected $1,568 million on behalf of DEEWR.

    Department of Health and Ageing

    We work collaboratively to administer the relevant GST-free provisions that apply to eligible residential care services and accommodation in serviced apartments in retirement villages.

    Department of Immigration and Citizenship

    We use information they supply to review the compliance of employers sponsoring 457 visa holders. The reviews focus on employer obligations under pay as you go withholding and superannuation guarantee. During the year, we received an additional 20 referrals and completed 19 audits. All audits finalised were completed within the agreed timeframe. We found these businesses were mostly or fully compliant with their employer obligations.

    Department of Innovation Industry Science and Research

    We jointly administer and validate AUSkey which provides businesses with a single key for secure business-to-government online interactions.

    Together with AusIndustry, the operating arm of the Department of Innovation Industry Science and Research, we jointly administer the research and development tax concession.

    Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

    We administer the Product Stewardship for Oil program on their behalf.

    Department of the Treasury

    We assist Treasury in their development of the Australian Government's tax treaty program including taxation information exchange agreements, as well as having a close relationship with them on tax and superannuation generally.

    New South Wales Crime Commission

    We cooperate through joint activities and information sharing to enhance income tax collections from criminal activities.

    State and territory treasuries and revenue offices

    We administer the National Tax Equivalent Regime - the intergovernmental arrangement that notionally applies federal income tax laws to nominated state and territory government businesses. The regime aims to promote competitive neutrality through the uniform application of income tax laws.

    We exchange information, including income tax and business activity data, to assist in compliance activities involving, for example, stamp duties, land tax and payroll tax.

    Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations

    We worked together to develop a booklet for Indigenous not-for-profit corporations about basic tax obligations.

      Last modified: 31 Oct 2011QC 28036