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Glossary

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

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

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, sole 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.

AUSkey

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

black economy

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

Cash Flow Boost

The temporary Cash Flow Boost scheme is available to eligible small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that employ staff and have been affected during the economic downturn associated with COVID-19. Cash flow boosts are delivered as credits in the activity statement system.

collectable debt

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

COVID-19

The particular strain of novel coronavirus that led the World Health Organisation to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in early 2020.

(CbC) reporting

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.

director identification number (director ID)

A unique number that identifies a director of a company, registered Australian body or registered foreign company.

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.

JobKeeper

The JobKeeper Payment scheme is a wage subsidy for eligible businesses significantly affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

large business

A business with annual turnover of over $250 million.

myGov

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

myGovID

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 replaced AUSkey in 2020.

net tax collections

Total tax collections less refunds paid to taxpayers.

Online services for agents

A secure ATO system for registered tax and BAS agents and their authorised staff. It provides access to a range of client information and services.

Online services for business

The new default online service for businesses, approved self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditors and other organisations to interact with the ATO.

Online services for DSPs

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.

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.

privately owned and wealthy group

We view privately owned and wealthy groups as:

n 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

n resident individuals who, together with their business associates, control net wealth over $5 million.

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.

remote desktop application (RDA)

Secure technology that allows users to remotely access their office desktop computers. Unlike VDP, they the user must already be logged in to their computer in the workplace to establish a remote connection.

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:

n a global parent entity with annual global income of A$1 billion or more

n 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:

n Australian-headquartered entities (either with or without foreign operations)

n the Australian operations of foreign headquartered multinational entities.

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.

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.

transfers

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

virtual desktop platform (VDP)

Secure technology that allows users to remotely log on to a virtual copy of their office desktop computers. Unlike RDA, the user is are logging on to a virtual machine hosted on a remote server.

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.