Privacy

Commissioner for ACT Revenue

The Commissioner for ACT Revenue (the Commissioner) is a statutory office holder, appointed by the Minister under section 73 of the Taxation Administration Act 1999 (Tax Administration Act).

The Commissioner and staff assisting the Commissioner (together called the ACT Revenue Office) perform functions under the Tax Administration Act and other legislation. The Commissioner’s functions include the collection of revenue, compliance activities, administering the Territory’s taxation legislation administering Government financial assistance schemes.

The ACT Revenue Office also incorporates the ACT Valuation Office, which includes experts appointed as authorised valuers under the Taxation Administration Act, and is responsible for providing independent valuation advice to the ACT Revenue Office; and the Rental Bonds Office which is responsible for the receipt and management of rental bonds for residential tenancy agreements in the ACT.

Purpose of this privacy policy

This privacy policy sets out how the ACT Revenue Office manages the personal information it collects, holds, uses and discloses for the purposes of the Information Privacy Act 2014 (Information Privacy Act).

The Information Privacy Act regulates the handling of personal information by public sector agencies such as ACT Revenue. It defines ‘personal information’ as information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether or not the information or opinion is true or not, and whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

The ACT Revenue Office collects and holds a range of information about individuals, corporations and other entities, which can include personal information about individuals.

Personal information does not include ‘personal health information’ about the individual which is protected and managed in accordance with the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 (Health Records Act). Personal information can also include ‘sensitive information’, such as an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation, criminal record, membership of political, professional or trade associations or religious belief.

In addition to the privacy protections of the Information Privacy Act, ACT Revenue Office is also bound by the secrecy provisions of the Taxation Administration Act and the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 (First Home Owner Grant Act), which prevent it from disclosing information that identifies taxpayers, except in certain circumstances.

The ACT Revenue Office only collects personal information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, its functions and activities in the assessment, collection, management and protection of revenue and funds under the Acts it administers.

The kind of personal information collected and held by the Office includes:

  • names, addresses, contact details (e.g. phone, email, fax) of individuals, their legal or financial representatives, individuals who are trustees;
  • information about an individual’s identity and personal circumstances (for example: date of birth, marital status, details of family members, relationship details, citizenship or immigration status, passport details, drivers licence numbers, Australian business numbers, Centrelink numbers);
  • taxation details (for example: assessment and customer numbers assigned by the ACT Revenue Office for the administration of taxes and grants; property and land ownership and transactions (rates, land tax, duties); payroll tax records; and information about tax exemptions and concessions);
  • financial information (for example: payment details, bank account details, information about business and financial interests, shareholdings, investment interests, rental bonds and information about grants and concessions applied for); and
  • employee information (for example: applications for employment with the ACT Revenue Office, work history, names and contact details of referees, employee’s professional memberships, tax file numbers, superannuation details, professional development, disciplinary action and where relevant, medical information such as medical conditions, physical or mental health details, which are specifically protected by the Health Records Act). The ACT Revenue Office may also collect sensitive information about an individual where it is necessary for the administration and enforcement of the laws that it administers, for the management of its employees or contractors, or where authorised by law, a court or tribunal order.

How the information is collected

The ACT Revenue Office collects personal information directly from individuals, legal or financial representatives, third parties, publicly available sources and by using its information-gathering powers.

Personal information may be collected by the ACT Revenue Office in a variety of ways, including through paper or online forms, in correspondence, emails, over the telephone, or by fax. This normally occurs when an individual transacts with the ACT Revenue Office, for example in complying with tax laws; in applying for grants, concessions, funds or assistance; in requests for information held by the Office, or requests about the operations of the Office; or in seeking or securing employment with the Office.

Where personal information is collected from an individual or their representative on a form (online or otherwise), the form will include a notice that explains this privacy policy.

In certain circumstances, where it is required or authorised by law, the ACT Revenue Office may obtain information collected by other Australian, State and Territory government bodies or organisations, for example the Australian Taxation Office, other ACT Government Directorates, or another State or Territory revenue office. It may also collect personal information from private organisations (such as utilities companies) and publicly available sources where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to the functions and activities of the Office.

Information may also be collected from third party sources through tip-offs or voluntary disclosures and where permitted by law.

Certain Acts administered by the ACT Revenue Office, for example the Tax Administration Act and the First Home Owner Grant Act, confer formal access and information-gathering powers. For example, an authorised officer may enter and inspect premises and seize, remove or take copies of documents. An individual may also be required to provide information upon request of the authorised officer.

The ACT Revenue Office takes reasonable care to ensure the personal information it collects is complete, up to date and accurate. It conducts data matching activities for audit and compliance purposes, to verify or supplement information that is provided, and to verify eligibility for grants, concessions and exemptions. Data is sourced from government agencies (such as the Australian Taxation Office, Land Titles Office, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, ACT Road Transport Authority) and other entities and is matched with the data held by ACT Revenue. The information produced from data matching is used for verifying information and to identify non-compliance with relevant laws. It also helps inform compliance programs led by the Office.

How personal information is held

The ACT Revenue Office puts in place measures to ensure that any personal information it collects and holds about an individual is safe and secure. All reasonable efforts are taken to protect the information from loss, unauthorised access, misuse, modification or disclosure.

The Territory Records Act 2002 (Territory Records Act) establishes the framework by which the Territory public service manages and cares for its records, including records that contain personal information. The ACT Revenue Office is bound by this framework, which includes rules about the creation, keeping, protection, preservation, storage, disposal of, and access to those records.

The Office’s information technology systems use protections to guard against unauthorised access. Paper based files are stored securely. Personal information is only made available to staff who have a need to access it to perform their role. When information is no longer required, the Office takes reasonable steps to destroy the information, or de-identify the information in line with the requirements of the Information Privacy Act and the Territory Records Act.

The personal information collected by the ACT Revenue Office is used to carry out the functions and activities in the administration of the laws it has responsibility for. For example, assessing tax liability, conducting an investigation and ensuring compliance with and administering tax laws and other Territory laws conferring functions on the Commissioner.

This may affect the ability of the ACT Revenue Office to accurately assess an individual’s liability for tax, or eligibility for a grant, exemption or concession. This could lead to delays in processing and may result in the imposition of penalties and interest if it is later discovered tax is payable and due, or that an individual is not entitled to a grant, exemption or concession.

The ACT Revenue Office will not disclose the personal information it collects unless it is with the consent of the individual, or the disclosure is authorised by law.

In particular, officers of the ACT Revenue Office are restricted by the secrecy and non-disclosure provisions of the Taxation Administration Act and the First Home Owner Grant Act from disclosing certain information (including personal information) except where it is permitted by law. For example, the Taxation Administration Act permits the disclosure of personal information in certain circumstances where the information disclosed:

  • does not identify a particular taxpayer or details of their personal affairs;
  • it is in the public interest in relation to types of statistical information;
  • is disclosed with the consent of the person concerned;
  • relates to the administration or execution of a tax law, or is required by law; or
  • is disclosed to an authorised government official such as, the Ombudsman, the Commissioner of Police, the Auditor-General, the Treasurer, the Commissioner for Fair Trading, the Australian Crime Commission, or the Under Treasurer. In some situations, personal information held by the ACT Revenue Office may be provided to agents of the Commissioner or persons contracted by the Commissioner to provide services. Where this is necessary, reasonable steps are taken to ensure that these persons are engaged subject to the secrecy provisions of the Tax Administration Act and the First Home Owner Act, and are also required to comply with the requirements of the Information Privacy Act. The Commissioner may also disclose personal information to third parties, such as the Australian Tax Office and other state and territory revenue offices for the purposes of the administration or execution of a tax law in those jurisdictions.

It may not be possible for the ACT Revenue Office to properly administer the Acts for which it has administrative responsibility, or carry out its functions unless an individual provides personal information. In some limited circumstances, for example if a person is making a general inquiry or providing a tip-off, the ACT Revenue Office may permit personal information identifying the source of details supplied to it to be removed or withheld.

An individual may make a request that the ACT Revenue Office correct their personal information it holds if the information is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading. Upon receiving such a request, the Office must take reasonable steps, where appropriate, to correct, and satisfy itself that the information is accurate, up to date, complete, relevant and not misleading in relation to the purpose for which it is held. A response to a request will normally be provided within 30 days.

An individual also has the right under the Information Privacy Act, the Freedom of Information Act 1989 and the Freedom of Information Act 2016 (which will commence on 1 January 2018) to ask for access to their personal information that the ACT Revenue Office holds. Access to that information may be provided if it is reasonable and practical to do so. Usually a response to a request will be provided within 30 days.

The ACT Revenue Office applies the following information gathering and dissemination practices to this site:

Cookies

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google Inc. (Google).  Google Analytics uses cookies and JavaScript code to enable analysis on usage of this website.  The data collected about your use of this website, (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored on Google's servers.  Google will use this data for the purpose of compiling reports on website activity for us and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.

Google will not collect personal information about you and the reports provided by Google to us will only contain aggregate non personal data about your use of this website.  (These reports may contain data relating to pages viewed, files downloaded or the completion of online subscriptions). We will use the data collected by Google Analytics to improve how this website functions.  For example we can use the data to check whether customers are having problems finding information and make access to information as easy as we can.

Google may transfer this data to third parties where required to do so by law, or where third parties process this data on Google's behalf.  Google will not associate your IP address with any personal information you may have previously provided to Google.  You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser.  Please note that if you do this, you may not be able to fully use this website.  By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Statistical information

When you browse this website, our system automatically makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes:

  • your server address;
  • top level domain name (e.g.: .com, .net, .gov, .au);
  • the type of browser and operating system you used;
  • date and time of your visit;
  • the previous site visited;
  • which pages are accessed;
  • the time spent on individual pages and the site overall;  and
  • which files were downloaded.

This information is analysed to determine this website’s usage statistics.

No attempt will be made to identify individual users or their browsing activities except in the event of an investigation where a law enforcement agency (e.g. the Australian Federal Police) exercises a warrant to inspect our service provider’s log files.

Your name and email address

Your name and email address is not recorded unless you specify it in an email or a feedback form through a website activity that involves the provision of personal information e.g.:

  • sending electronic mail to this website;
  • participating in a survey on this website;
  • undertaking a payment or other transaction through this website;  and
  • suggesting a link from this website to an external website.

If you choose not to participate in the above activities, your choice will not affect your ability to use this website.

Use of personal information collected

If you supply your email address, it will only be used for the purpose for which you provided it.  It will not be added to any mailing list unless you ask for this to be done, nor will it be disclosed to other persons or organisations without your consent or as required by law.

The internet is an insecure medium and users should be aware that there are inherent risks in transmitting information across the internet.

Information submitted unencrypted via electronic mail or web forms may be at risk of being intercepted, read or modified.  If you do not wish to email or send an online form to the Australian Capital Territory Government, you can mail your communication using the contact us form.

External websites

This site contains links to external websites.  This privacy statement does not extend to external websites. The Australian Capital Territory is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of external websites. For more information, refer to the disclaimer.

Exchange of information

To assist in the identification and assessment of ACT taxes and grants we exchange information with other Revenue Offices and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The exchange of information with other Revenue Offices is in accordance with part 9 of the Taxation Administration Act 1999 (ACT) and similar legislation in the States and the Northern Territory.  The exchange of information with the ATO is in accordance with subsection 355-65 (5) Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth).

Contact Information

Requests for access to, or the correction of personal information, should be made to the contact details below:

Online

Contact us form

Telephone

(02) 6207 0028
9:00am to 5:00pm Monday-Friday (excluding ACT public holidays)

Mail

ACT Revenue Office
PO Box 293
CIVIC SQUARE ACT 2608

For Freedom of Information requests please contact the FOI Coordinator in writing at -

FOI Coordinator
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Or by Email: CMTEDDfoi@act.gov.au

Complaints about privacy breaches

Complaints about the ACT Revenue Office’s handling of personal information should be made in writing where possible, to the contact details below.

Mail

Privacy Officer
ACT Revenue Office
PO Box 293
CIVIC SQUARE ACT 2608

Online

Contact us form

Telephone

(02) 6207 0077
9:00am to 5:00pm Monday-Friday (excluding ACT public holidays)

If the manner in which the complaint has been handled is not satisfactory, an individual may make a formal privacy complaint to the Information Privacy Commissioner under section 34 of the Information Privacy Act on 1300 363 992, or via the OAIC website: www.oaic.gov.au