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Introduction

This policy is made under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 the purpose of which is:

  • 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, and
  • To provide remedies for interference with the information privacy of an individual

The State Revenue Office (SRO) takes its privacy obligations seriously, and is committed to the responsible handling of personal information and protecting an individual’s right to privacy.

Personal information

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 and whether true or not about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can be reasonably ascertained, from the information or opinion.

Law enforcement agency

The SRO is Victoria’s major revenue collection agency, and is a “law enforcement agency” for the purposes of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, being an agency responsible for the protection of the public revenue under a law administered by it.

As a law enforcement agency, the SRO does not have to comply with some of the information privacy principles (in respect of collection, use and disclosure, access and correction, transborder data flows, unique identifiers) if it believes on reasonable grounds that the non-compliance is necessary for the performance of its law enforcement functions.

The SRO administers a range of Acts including:

In addition, from time to time the SRO may have delegated powers under other Acts to which this privacy policy will also apply.

Collection

In administering these and other Acts, the SRO may collect and use personal information about individuals for the purposes of assessing a tax liability or conferring a benefit. The SRO only collects personal information in accordance with the law for the purposes of collection, management and protection of revenue under Acts it administers.

In most cases, the SRO collects the information directly from the individual or an agent or solicitor acting on behalf of the individual. The SRO may also collect personal information from third parties (or bodies) such as the Victorian Electoral Commission, VicRoads, WorkSafe Victoria, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Securities and Investment Commission and other revenue offices. This information is used for data verification, revenue management and revenue protection purposes and is handled in accordance with the SRO’s legislative obligations.

The types of personal information the SRO collects is typically done 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, the SRO may collect personal information from current or prospective employees, or persons seeking to be engaged by the SRO for a specific purpose (e.g. service providers).

Use and disclosure of information

The SRO does not use personal information other than in accordance with the law and for the purpose for which it was collected, or for a purpose you would reasonably expect associated with its revenue collection or revenue protection functions.

The SRO does not disclose any information (including personal information) collected by it unless authorised by law, or with your consent.

The SRO is bound by secrecy provisions in the Acts administered by it and can only disclose information collected by it in accordance with those secrecy provisions which enable disclosure:

  1. With your consent, or
  2. In connection with the administration or execution of Acts administered by the SRO, the Australian Taxation Office, or other state and territory revenue offices (including for the purposes of legal proceedings), or
  3. As required by another Act, or
  4. In connection with the operation of Landata for the purpose of the administration of land tax,
  5. To help you determine whether duty, if any, was paid on the transfer of land, and
  6. To the third parties that are listed in the Acts administered by the SRO, which include certain government departments, regulatory, and law enforcement agencies

The list of authorised recipients attached to this policy sets out who the SRO can share information with.

The SRO also discloses personal information to its service providers for the purposes of administrative functions associated with Acts the SRO administers (for example, provision of IT services or printing services). Service providers engaged by SRO are required to comply with the requirements of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, and secrecy provisions.

The SRO uses information obtained by it for creation of statistics or consideration of economic trends for the purposes of government reporting, but there is no disclosure of personal information associated with such reporting.

The SRO conducts some data matching activities for the purposes of ascertaining compliance with Acts it administers, for the protection of public revenue, to confirm a taxpayer’s contact details or to verify eligibility for certain concessions and exemptions.

Data quality

The SRO takes care to ensure that the personal information it collects about an individual is complete, up to date, and accurate.

Data security and retention

The SRO takes care to ensure that any personal information it holds about an individual is protected from misuse or loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

The SRO has secrecy provisions in Acts it administers which protect an individual’s personal information from disclosure.

In addition, the SRO has policies in place to ensure that information (including personal information) is securely stored and is destroyed or disposed of when it is no longer relevant, or necessary for the purposes of Acts administered by SRO or other SRO functions.

Openness

On request by an individual and, where possible, the SRO will tell you why it is collecting your personal information and how you can get access to such personal information.

Where information is collected on a SRO form the form will explain why the SRO requires the information.

Access to your personal information and correction

The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and Freedom of Information Act 1982 both provide a statutory right of access by individuals to personal information held by government agencies about them. Inquiries regarding access to personal information or correction of personal information can be made to the Privacy Officer.

In cases where the SRO’s law enforcement function would be prejudiced, the SRO may not be required to provide access to personal information held about an individual.

Transborder data flows

The SRO may, in some circumstances, transfer personal information or information collected from you outside Victoria, to another state or territory revenue office, or to the federal Commissioner of Taxation.

An example would be information provided to such agencies in the course of harmonising the administration of Acts administered by the SRO. Transborder data flow only occurs under the Taxation Administration Act 1997, the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000, the Unclaimed Money Act 2008 or as otherwise authorised by law and any recipient of information is also bound by secrecy provisions in respect of disclosure of information and cannot disclose such information unless authorised by law, or with your consent.

Sensitive information

The SRO does not collect sensitive information from individuals, unless necessary for the purposes of Acts it administers or in managing its employees or service providers.

Unique identifiers

A unique identifier is a series of alphabetical or numeric characters, which may be applied to an individual and distinguishes them from other individuals. The SRO does not assign, use or disclose unique identifiers to individuals unless necessary to do so to carry out its functions (for example assessment or customer numbers issued under Acts administered by the SRO).

Anonymity

It may not be possible for the SRO to properly administer its Acts or carry out its functions unless an individual provides personal information to the SRO (as required by law).

In some very limited circumstances, the SRO will deal with you anonymously, for example if you are making a general inquiry, or providing information to the SRO regarding non-compliance with one of the Acts it administers.

Complaints

If you have a complaint about how the SRO has handled your personal information, consider your privacy has been breached or have an enquiry about how the SRO handles personal information, please contact the Privacy Officer, (Paula Thorne) in the first instance on 9628 6105 or in writing:

Privacy Officer
(Paula Thorne)
State Revenue Office
GPO Box 1641
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

If you are not satisfied with the way in which the SRO has handled your complaint through its internal complaints procedure, you may complain to the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection:

Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection
PO Box 24014
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Phone

1300 666 444

Fax

+61 3 8684 1667

Email 

enquiries@privacy.vic.gov.au

Website 

www.dataprotection.vic.gov.au

Authorised recipients

Taxation laws 

  • State and territory revenue offices,
  • Australian Taxation Office,
  • Ombudsman,
  • Member of the police force of or above the rank of inspector,
  • Metropolitan Planning Authority for the purposes of administering the GAIC,
  • Secretary of the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure for the purposes of administering the GAIC,
  • Public Record Office Victoria,
  • Australian Statistician,
  • Auditor-General,
  • Business Licensing Authority for the purposes of administering the Motor Car Traders Act 1986 and regulations,
  • Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria,
  • Member of the Australian Federal Police,
  • Country Fire Authority,
  • Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board,
  • VicRoads for the purpose of administering the Road Safety Act 1986 and regulations,
  • Secretary to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries for the purpose if administering livestock duty,
  • Australian Crime Commission,
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission,
  • Victorian WorkCover Authority,
  • Registrar of Titles,
  • Legal Services Board,
  • Legal Services Commissioner,
  • Chief Executive Centrelink for the purpose of administering Commonwealth social security laws,
  • Child Support Registrar for the purposes of administering child support,
  • Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), the Commonwealth Treasurer and the Secretary of the Treasury of the Commonwealth in relation to decisions under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) and regulations, or Australia’s foreign investment policy,
  • Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) Commissioner

FHOG

  • State and territory revenue offices,
  • Member of the police force,
  • Member of the Australian Federal Police,
  • Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria,
  • Director of Housing,
  • Member of the New Zealand police force who is also employed at the New Zealand Police National Intelligence Centre in connection with an investigation or prosecution,
  • Legal Services Board,
  • Legal Services Commissioner,
  • Chief Executive Centrelink for the purpose of administering Commonwealth social security laws,
  • Child Support Registrar for the purposes of administering child support,
  • Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), the Commonwealth Treasurer and the Secretary of the Treasury of the Commonwealth in relation to decisions under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) and regulations, or Australia’s foreign investment policy,
  • Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)Commissioner

Fire services property levy

  • Valuer-General,
  • Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance,
  • Essential Services Commission,
  • County Fire Authority,
  • Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board,
  • Treasurer,
  • Fire Services Levy Monitor

Unclaimed money

  • Ombudsman,
  • Australian Taxation Office,
  • State and territory revenue offices,
  • Member of the police force,
  • Auditor-General, 
  • Member of the Australian Federal Police,
  • Director of Consumer Affairs,
  • Victorian WorkCover Authority,
  • Privacy Commissioner,
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission,
  • Legal Services Commissioner,
  • Legal Services Board

Back to Work scheme

  • Treasurer,
  • Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance,
  • Victorian WorkCover Authority,
  • Member of the police force of or above the rank of inspector