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ABN Lookup

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

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.

application programming interface (API)

A set of routines, communication protocols and tools for building software applications.

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.

ATO online services

A range of tax and superannuation services available from our website, including lodging tax returns and activity statements and keeping track of super. Individuals, soles traders, businesses, tax agents, BAS agents and non-residents can register and log in at ato.gov.au.

audit yield

The additional tax liabilities identified and collected through audit activities. It also includes interest and penalties.


A single electronic identifier for businesses to access online government services with participating government agencies. AUSkey will be replaced by myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) in 2020.

black economy

Economic activity not declared, which may be a result of attempts to avoid tax obligations. Also known as the 'cash economy' or 'non-observed economy'.

collectable debt

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

Country-by-Country reporting (CbC)

One of a range of international measures aimed at combating tax avoidance, through more comprehensive exchanges of information between agencies. Certain types of significant global entities are required to report on international related-party dealings, revenues, profits and taxes paid, by jurisdiction.

departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP)

The payment of a superannuation balance for an eligible temporary resident leaving Australia.

digital service provider (DSP)

Anyone who develops and delivers digital services to the community, including software developers, gateway providers, third-party providers, system implementers and clearing houses.

Dispute Assist

An ATO service designed to help unrepresented individuals and small businesses through the dispute process.


A form of electronic billing. It enables exchange of the invoice document between a supplier and buyer in an integrated electronic format.

enterprise client profile

A system designed to provide our staff with access to client facts and insights in a contemporary way, and can be tailored to specific work requirements.


GovPass, under development in partnership with the Digital Transformation Agency, is a new way to manage identity digitally across government. GovPass will allow individuals to securely and easily identify themselves, connect with government digital services and authorise people to act on their behalf.

general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR)

Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 sets out general anti-avoidance rules The rules may apply to schemes which provide a tax benefit that would not have otherwise been available. We seek advice on the application of the rules to particular arrangements from our panel of business and professional people – chosen for their ability to provide expert informed advice – and senior ATO staff.


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.

large business

A business with annual turnover of over $250 million.

Member Account Attribute Service (MAAS)

A service for super funds for reporting changes to a member's account attributes when they occur.

Member Account Transaction Service (MATS)

A service for super funds for reporting member contributions or transactions more frequently and at a transactional level.


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


A secure proof-of-identity app that provides access to government online services for individuals and businesses. It is used in combination with the Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) and will be replacing AUSkey in 2020.


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

net tax collections

Total tax collections less refunds paid to taxpayers.

Online services for agents

A new ATO system that provides tax and BAS agents with access to services that are currently provided by our portals. It includes features and functions not available in the portals.

Online services for DSPs

A new system that provides a modern and secure platform for digital service providers (DSPs) to interact with the ATO.

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.


An online system for taxpayers to access information and services.


PowerPit is an ATO in-house system that enables experienced staff to share their expertise with new front-line officers, using an immersive training environment.

practitioner lodgment service (PLS)

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


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.

privately owned and wealthy group

We view privately owned and wealthy groups as:

  • companies and their associated subsidiaries (often referred to as economic groups) with an annual turnover greater than $10 million, that are not public groups or foreign owned
  • resident individuals who, together with their business associates, control net wealth over $5 million.

Protective Security Policy Framework

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

public and multinational group

Most of the largest organisations operating in Australia are publicly listed Australian or multinational groups.

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.

Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM)

A new digital service that can be used by individuals and businesses to set up and manage relationships across government online services. RAM allows people to manage who is authorised to act on their behalf online.

robotic process automation (RPA)

Technology that uses robotic processes or artificial intelligence.

self-managed super fund (SMSF)

A complying superannuation fund with fewer than five members, who are individual trustees of the fund.

significant global entity

An entity is a significant global entity for an income year if it is either:

  • a global parent entity with annual global income of A$1 billion or more
  • a member of a consolidated group of entities where the global parent entity has an annual global income of A$1 billion or more.

This includes both:

  • Australian-headquartered entities (either with or without foreign operations)
  • the Australian operations of foreign headquartered multinational entities.

Small business newsroom

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

small business

A business with less than $10 million aggregated turnover in the previous financial year. Prior to 2016–17, the threshold was $2 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 guarantee

Super guarantee refers to the minimum level of superannuation contributions an employer must make for eligible employees.

super guarantee charge statement

An employer that does not make super guarantee contributions for an eligible employee within the required period must lodge a super guarantee charge statement with the ATO.

Super Fund Lookup

Provides access to publicly available information about super funds that have an ABN. It includes funds regulated by the ATO and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

tax assured

An estimate of the proportion of tax reported that we are highly confident is correct.

tax gap

An estimate of the difference between the amounts the ATO collects and what we would have collected if every taxpayer was fully compliant with tax law.

Taxable payments annual report (TPAR)

Some businesses and government entities need to report the total payments they make to contractors each year on a taxable payments annual report (or TPAR).

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.

total revenue effects

An estimate of the additional tax revenue resulting from our client engagement activities. It is a combination of audit yield and wider revenue effects.

Towards 2024

Reflects our ongoing commitment to transformation. Building on the gains of our reinvention program, the ATO corporate plan 2018–19 contains the next steps on the journey to achieving our 2024 aspirations. Our aim is to build trust and confidence in the tax and superannuation systems and to create a streamlined, integrated and data-driven future.


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

wider revenue effects

An estimate of the additional tax revenue arising from our broader suite of activities, which we can defensibly measure and that is not already captured by audit yield.