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29 Sep 10 Confidentiality of taxpayer information: Tax Laws Amendment (Confidentiality of Taxpayer Information) Bill 2010

This Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on Wednesday 29 September 2010. The Bill amends the secrecy and disclosure provisions applying to taxation information that are currently spread over many taxation Acts. Over the years numerous amendments to them have resulted in unclear and inconsistent rules for the protection of taxpayer information, as well as increased privacy risks.

This Bill consolidates and standardises these various enactments into a single new framework in Sch 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.

The amendments made by this Bill will apply to disclosures of protected information made on or after the day of Royal Assent to the Bill.

For the full texts of the Bill and its Explanatory Memorandum, go here.

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