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Debt Collection Practices of the Australian Taxation Office Reviewed 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015 - Posted by Philip Harvey

The Inspector-General of Taxation concluded a review into the Debt Collection practices of the Australian Taxation Office. This report is worth examining to compare your organisations debt collection practices and if your processes can be improved.

The recommendations of the report provide a useful synopsis. Some of the more interesting points and progressive strategies include:

  • Incorporate analytics to identify underlying causes of payment difficulties and developing preventative strategies. Make online facilities available that allow taxpayers to prepay anticipated tax debts, make publicly available a financial management tool. Identify tax payers who are likely to experience cash flow problems and encourage them to seek professional (Recommendation 2.1)
  • Smarter detection of Phoenix companies including inter-agency communications.
  • Encourage banks to challenge to challenge garnishee notices where the account is incorrect. There were some 207,000 garnishee notices issued by the ATO between 2011-12 and 2013-14.
  • The ATO's willingness to use garnishee notices on "lower risk" taxpayers without notice of the impending garnishee.

The full report can be found here.


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