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Tax Office Announces External Debt Collection Services Panel

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com, London

15 October 2007


The Australian Tax Office has announced the appointment of a panel of external collection agencies to assist with the collection of debt, including tax debts over two years old and employer superannuation guarantee charge debt.

Following a competitive tender process, four agencies have been selected: Dun & Bradstreet, Baycorp Collection Services Pty Ltd, National Credit Management Limited, and Recoveries Corporation Group Limited.

Acting Tax Commissioner, Jennie Granger said that the appointments follow a successful 3 month trial conducted in 2006, which resulted in $21 million in outstanding debt being collected.

“We do understand there are situations when it can be difficult to pay an outstanding debt. What is really important is that people contact us as early as possible so we can agree on a suitable arrangement to get them back on track,” Ms Granger explained. “The panel will help us follow up more quickly and encourage people and businesses to pay their debts. “Some of the debt to be referred for collection will be superannuation money owed to employees so will help protect retirement savings,” she continued.

The Tax Office was allocated an additional $42 million over four years in this year’s federal budget to establish and pay for the services of the panel, and expects to commence referring parcels of debt for collection activity towards the end of 2007.

The panel is required to adhere to strict privacy and professionalism guidelines, and will have to report back to the Tax Office monthly on its progress and adherence to these guidelines. All Commonwealth secrecy and privacy requirements will also need to be met.

“Our debt collection strategies, including the establishment of this panel are about fairness and creating a level playing field for everyone. “I encourage anyone experiencing difficulties to contact us as soon as possible on 13 11 42 and we will work with them to clear any tax debt before it becomes unmanageable,” Ms Granger concluded.


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