- To establish a regime for the responsible handling of personal information in the public sector.
- To provide individuals with rights to information held about them by organisations.
- To provide remedies for interference with the information privacy of an individual.
Under the Act, personal information is any information or an opinion, including information or an opinion forming part of a data base, that is recorded in any form, whether true or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent or can be reasonably ascertained from the information or opinion.
Our functions and responsibilities
As Victoria’s major revenue collection agency, we are responsible for administering state taxes and levies, and for payments made under various assistance schemes, such as the Back to Work Scheme and the First Home Owner Grant.
Victorian taxation laws
The following taxes are administered under the Taxation Administration Act 1997:
- Duties - Duties Act 2000, Stamps Act 1958
- Land Tax - Land Tax Act 2005, Land Tax Act 1958
- Payroll Tax - Payroll Tax Act 2007, Pay-roll Tax Act 1971
- Congestion Levy - Congestion Levy Act 2005
- Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution - Part 9B, Planning and Environment Act 1987
- Metropolitan Planning Levy - Part 4, Planning and Environment Act 1987
- Fire Services Property Levy - Part 4, Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012
Payments, grants, rebates and subsidies:
- First Home Owner Grant - First Home Owner Grant Act 2000
- Back to Work payments - Back to Work Act 2015
We also administer the Register of Unclaimed Money (Unclaimed Money Act 2008).
The Register of Unclaimed Money
The registrar is obliged to keep a comprehensive register for administering the Unclaimed Money Act 2008 and can confine published details to the minimum needed for that purpose. The published version of the register provides sufficient details for an owner to identify a claim, but withholds certain details to ensure there is still undisclosed information against which an applicant’s claim can be assessed.
Our functions under other laws
Information privacy principles
As an agency responsible for protecting public revenue under a law administered by it, the State Revenue Office is a 'law enforcement agency' for the purposes of section 3 of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. Under section 15 of that Act, a law enforcement agency is not required to comply with certain Information Privacy Principles to the extent that such non-compliance is necessary to perform a law enforcement function or activity.
In administering these and other Acts, we may collect and use personal information about individuals for the purposes of assessing a tax liability or conferring a benefit. We collect personal information in accordance with the law for the purposes of assessing, collecting, managing and protecting revenue under the Acts we administer.
In most cases, we collect information directly from the individual or a legal or financial representative authorised to act on their behalf.
We may also obtain personal information from other sources, such as VicRoads, WorkSafe Victoria, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and other revenue offices.
Enrolment information is also received from the Victorian Electoral Commission pursuant to the Electoral Act 2002. Information obtained is used for verifying data, managing revenue, and protecting revenue and is handled in accordance with our legislative obligations.
We commonly collect personal information through:
- Returns, applications, notices and statements,
- Requests for private rulings, objections, submissions and enquiries,
- Customer feedback, surveys and research data,
- Solicited or unsolicited correspondence and communications from the public.
In addition, we may collect personal information from current or prospective employees, or persons seeking to be engaged by us under contract. Our human resources functions are administered in accordance with the Public Administration Act 2004.
Where we are collecting information that will also be used and disclosed for Commonwealth reporting purposes, our Collection Statement identifies the relevant details and the additional purposes for which they may be used and disclosed.
We take care to ensure that the personal information we collect about an individual is complete, up to date, and accurate. We conduct data matching activities for the purposes of ascertaining compliance with the Acts we administer, verifying or supplementing information provided by a customer, and verifying eligibility for certain concessions and exemptions.
Use and disclosure of information
We do not use personal information other than in accordance with the law and for the purpose for which it was collected, and for a purpose you would reasonably expect to be associated with revenue collection or revenue protection functions. We may need to provide access to personal information to our contractors to perform functions involved in administering our responsibilities, such as providing IT or printing services. Contractors engaged by us are required to comply with the requirements of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and secrecy provisions.
We do not disclose any information, including personal information, we collect unless authorised by law or with your consent.
We are bound by secrecy provisions in the Acts we administer. In relation to state taxes, the secrecy provisions in the Taxation Administration Act 1997 enable disclosure of information obtained under the taxation laws in the following circumstances:
- With the person’s consent.
- In connection with administering or executing Acts administered by us, the Australian Taxation Office, another state and territory revenue office, or as required by another Victorian Act.
- For specific purposes outlined in the legislation.
- To the office-holders and agencies listed as authorised to receive disclosures, with authorised recipients including certain Victorian, state, territory and Commonwealth government authorities.
Similarly, secrecy provisions in other laws administered by us – the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000, the Back to Work Act 2014, the Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012 and the Unclaimed Money Act 2008 – set out the purposes and authorised recipients of disclosures made under those laws.
We use information we obtain for creating statistics or considering economic trends for the purposes of government reporting, but no personal information is disclosed.
Data security and retention
We take care to ensure that any personal information we hold about an individual is protected from misuse or loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Our Risk Management Framework aligns with the Victorian Government Risk Management Framework and the AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 standard.
In addition, our policies ensure that information, including personal information, is securely stored and destroyed or disposed of when it is no longer relevant or necessary for the purposes of the Acts we administer or our other functions. Documents are stored, retained or destroyed in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973.
Ensuring your browser is current with the latest patches applied will protect your confidential information. Failing to do so may compromise the security of your information, including credit card details, and result in you being unable to make payments through our online facilities.
We may also collect personal information from other sources in order to verify or supplement information required for the assessing, investigating and enforcing tax obligations and/or determining entitlements to grants and payments.
Access to your personal information and correction
The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) provides you with statutory rights of access to personal information held by government agencies about you.
Under the FOI Act, formal requests for accessing personal information or correcting personal information can be made to the Information Officer. If you want to correct your records, an informal request for correction can be made to the Privacy Officer.
Transborder data flows
We may, in some circumstances, disclose personal information or information collected from you to other agencies in other jurisdictions, or to the federal Commissioner of Taxation.
Transborder data flows are governed by secrecy laws authorising us to provide information obtained under revenue laws, including personal information, to specified agencies in other jurisdictions. We administer Acts which permit us to provide information to other agencies and jurisdictions.
We do not collect sensitive information from individuals unless it is necessary for the purposes of the Acts we administer or in managing our employees or contractors.
A unique identifier is a series of alphabetical or numeric characters which can be applied to an individual to distinguish them from others. We may assign, use or disclose unique identifiers to individuals where it is necessary to do so to carry out our functions. For example, assessment and customer numbers are needed for administering taxes and grants.
It may not be possible for us to properly administer our Acts or carry out our functions unless an individual provides personal information to us, as required by law. However, in some very limited circumstances, for example if a person is making a general inquiry or providing a tip-off to us, we may remove or withhold personal information identifying the source of the details supplied.
If you have a complaint about how we have handled your personal information, or you believe your privacy has been breached, or you have a question about how we handle personal information, please contact our Privacy Officer on 9628 6105 or in writing to:
State Revenue Office
GPO Box 1641
Melbourne VIC 3001
If you are not satisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled through our internal complaints procedure, you can contact the Privacy and Data Protection Deputy Commissioner:
Privacy and Data Protection Deputy Commissioner
PO Box 24274
Melbourne VIC 3001