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On 19 November 2009, Tax Laws Amendment (Confidentiality of Taxpayer Information) Bill 2009 was introduced into the House of Representatives.

The Bill amends the secrecy and disclosure provisions applying to taxation information that are currently spread over many taxation law Acts. The Bill consolidates and standardises these various enactments into a single new framework in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953. The new framework is designed to provide clarity and certainty to taxpayers, the ATO and users of taxpayer information and to provide guiding principles to assist in framing any future additions. The key principle of the new framework is the protection of taxpayer information. Disclosures of information are, however, permitted in instances where privacy concerns are outweighed by the public benefit of those disclosures.

With one exception, these amendments apply to disclosures of protected information made on or after the day after Royal Assent. The amendment facilitating disclosures of protected information for purposes relating to unexplained wealth orders will commence the later of the day on which the Bill receives Royal Assent or the commencement of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Act 2009.

For a copy of the Bill, go here

For a copy of the Explanatory Memorandum, go here


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