Your Business Angels - Heads up – a tax debt can screw your credit rating

Heads up – a tax debt can screw your credit rating

28.06.2022

It’s official

ATO tax default data is now included in Equifax commercial credit reports.

Ok, the ATO has been “softly, softly” in collecting tax debt. If you haven’t arranged to pay down debt or do something else (with Our Help), you can now be punished by having your credit rating blown – and that could affect you for years – Gavin Waring

Equifax is where finance companies and large companies go to check the credit rating of a prospect. So that while your file may be clean because you have never missed car payment or a mortgage. If the ATO thinks you are not responding to requests to pay attention and make a deal, then “Wacko”, your credit rating takes a hit.

This new information lets you see if a company your business is doing with owes a significant amount of ATO tax and has failed to repay the debt.

What does this mean for you?

Understanding a company’s tax information is a vital piece of the puzzle for evaluating credit risk in new and existing customers. As tax debts are often the last debt businesses seek to pay, this new data stream provides you with greater risk oversight for better decision-making. 

The finance industry and Equifax have advocated for improved tax debt transparency for years. You may have noticed that finance companies have been asking for copies of your portal when making a loan. So, this is a more formal step.

Each week Equifax will receive updates from the ATO on businesses that:

  • Have one or more tax debts, and at least $100,000 is overdue by more than 90 days.
  • They are not engaging with the ATO to manage their tax debt
  • Don’t have an active complaint with the Inspector-General of Taxation Ombudsman about the ATO’s intent to report its tax debt information AND have an Australian business number (ABN)- OWCH!
  • Are not a public sector entity, a registered charity, a deductible gift recipient or a complying superannuation fund exempt from tax debt disclosure.

Where can you check out your status?

  • You can ask us; there is a small fee as we are members of Equifax. We can do this quickly
  • Look under your Commercial Credit Report’s “Credit History Snapshot” section. 

For any questions about ATO tax default information, don’t hesitate to contact your Client Coordinator


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