Mining Tax Revenue Subject to Taxpayer Confidentiality

18 January 2013



This is in response to Senator Mathias Cormann's opinion piece (``What's the government hiding about mining tax revenue?'', 17/1).
The Liberal Party might want to put their politics ahead of the law, but this government takes our obligations to act in accordance with the law seriously. Information about revenue from resource rent taxes is provided in the monthly financial statements and is subject to taxpayer confidentiality considerations.
The financial statements released last month for the first quarter of the 2012-13 financial year showed $501 million was collected in resource rent taxes. However, while a total resource rent tax revenue amount is published every month, the ATO's advice is that it can't provide specific information about MRRT revenue without breaching privacy provisions, under the Taxation Administration Act 1953. Treasury has sought further advice from the Australian government solicitor which has confirmed this.
The administration of tax law is independent of the government and, as Treasury notes, ``this is a matter for the ATO to independently determine and is not a decision of any department or minister''.
Australian taxpayers should be concerned that the would-be assistant treasurer has shown complete disregard for the privacy provisions protecting information held by the ATO.