Glossary

ABN Lookup

ABN Lookup is the public view of the Australian Business Register (ABR). It provides access to publicly available information supplied by businesses when they register for an Australian business number (ABN).

ABR Connect

ABR Connect provides access to multiple government agency registers via a single business register, the ABR. It reduces the number of registers businesses need to access each time they update information.

ABR Explorer

An online reporting and analytical tool that makes using ABR data easy.

advance pricing arrangement

An arrangement between the ATO and large businesses on related-party international dealings. It provides for agreed pricing terms for a future period.

ATO app

A digital application that allows taxpayers (individuals, small business owners, SMSFs and trustees) to conduct their tax and superannuation affairs from a mobile device. The ATO app can be downloaded onto a smart phone or tablet.

AUSkey

A single electronic identifier for businesses to access online government services with participating government agencies.

base erosion and profit shifting

Erosion of the tax base through shifting of profits overseas to avoid tax. Companies attempt to avoid taxation in their home countries by pushing activities abroad to low- or no-tax jurisdictions. This undermines the fairness and integrity of tax systems. International tax administrators are working together to determine whether current taxation rules allow for the allocation of taxable profits to locations different from those where the actual business activity takes place, and what can be done to change this if they do.

client communication list

A list that is accessed via the Tax Agent or BAS Agent portals, providing agents with access to a selection of key communications issued to their clients via paper, email, SMS and myGov. This was formerly known as the client correspondence list.

cloud-based software

Software that is hosted on a remote server or ‘cloud’ (rather than the user’s desktop). The data is processed remotely before being returned to the user.

collectable debt

Debt that is not subject to objection or appeal or to some form of insolvency administration.

Digital Transformation Agenda

A key priority for the government, announced in 2015, with the aim of making it easier and more convenient for the public, including businesses, to interact with the government.

guidance

Assistance we provide to taxpayers to help them understand their obligations and entitlements. It does not address a taxpayer’s specific circumstances and is not binding on the Commissioner.

high wealth individual

An Australian resident who controls net assets of over $30 million.

interpretative decisions

A summary of a decision we have made on an interpretative matter, which gives an indication of how we might apply a provision of the law.

large business

A business with annual turnover of over $250 million.

memorandum of understanding

A formal agreement that commits the signatories to set expectations, terms and conditions for the exchange and utilisation of resources, staff, services and/or finances.

myATO

The ATO’s new intranet site which brings together a wide range of information, tools and systems for staff.

myGov

A government system that provides secure access to a range of Australian Government services with one username and password.

myTax

A streamlined tax return designed specifically for people with straightforward tax affairs.

net tax collections

Total tax collections less refunds paid to taxpayers.

phoenix activity

The systematic process of deliberately incorporating and liquidating operating companies with the intent of having the company avoid its obligations to its employees, to its suppliers, and to the tax system.

portal

An online system for taxpayers to access information and services.

practitioner lodgment service (PLS)

The new electronic channel that allows tax practitioners to lodge returns and other reports with the ATO. The PLS replaces the electronic lodgment service (ELS).

pre-filling

Automatic population of labels in electronically prepared income tax returns. It includes information from government agencies, financial institutions and employers.

private ruling

A legally binding written expression of our opinion on the way in which a relevant provision applies, or would apply, to a particular taxpayer.

Project DO IT (Disclose Offshore Income Today)

An initiative designed to encourage taxpayers with unreported income and assets to make disclosures and re-engage with the Australian tax system.

Protective Security Policy Framework

Outlines the Australian Government’s requirements for the protection of its people, information and assets.

public ruling/determination

The Commissioner’s considered opinion on the way in which a relevant provision applies to taxpayers generally or a class of taxpayers. Any taxpayer covered by the ruling may rely on it and receive the associated protection.

Small Business Fix-it Squads

The aim of a Small Business Fix-it squad is to make improvements for small business owners and reduce red tape. Squads are made up of small business owners, intermediaries and representatives from the federal and state government agencies involved (not just the ATO).

Small Business Superannuation Clearing House

The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is a free, optional service for employers with 19 or fewer employees, as well as those businesses with an annual aggregated turnover of less than $2 million.

Small Business Assist

An online tool that searches a range of websites to provide easy access to information for new and established small businesses on a range of topics.

Small Business Newsroom

An online tax and superannuation news service that combines email notifications to subscribers with a user friendly website.

small-to-medium enterprise

A business with annual turnover between $2 million and $250 million.

Standard Business Reporting (SBR)

Enables businesses to prepare and provide reports to government directly from their business software.

Standing Committee

A committee that conducts inquiries on behalf of the Australian Government into any matter referred to it by either the House or a Minister, including any pre-legislation proposal, bill, motion, petition, vote or expenditure, other financial matter, report or document.

Super Fund Lookup

Contains publicly available information about super funds that have an ABN, including current compliance statuses of self-managed super funds (SMSF). Employers and funds should use this service to determine whether employer contributions qualify as superannuation guarantee payments, and to check whether a fund is eligible to receive transfers or rollovers.

SuperStream

SuperStream is a government reform to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system. Under SuperStream, all super transactions are electronic.

SuperTICK

An online service that enables super funds and retirement savings account providers to validate member details when processing roll-over requests and registration information associated with employer contributions.

Test Case Litigation Program

Provides financial assistance to taxpayers who are litigating matters that will clarify the tax and superannuation laws we administer. By developing legal precedent, we seek to ensure we are providing the community with clear principles on how to apply the law.

transfers

Administered expenses incurred by the ATO, including superannuation guarantee, super co-contributions, and personal and business benefits and subsidies.

voice authentication

Technology that verifies a caller’s identity by comparing their voice to their voiceprint when they call.