Privacy Notice – Supply of your information to the ATO

Conflict of Interest – what is it?
September 23, 2019

Privacy Notice – Supply of your information to the ATO

The Privacy Act 1988 was introduced to promote and protect the privacy of individuals and to regulate how certain organisations handle personal information.

In the course of settlement, we obtain a significant amount of our clients personal information. This includes information such as names, addresses, dates of birth, banking details and other items by which our clients may be identified.

The Privacy Act governs the manner that Stenhouse Settlement Services collect and what we can do with our clients personal information.

Stenhouse Settlement Services  subscribe to and abide by the National Privacy Principles, which sets out that we must keep our clients information confidential and only use it for the purposes required in carrying out our work.

All matters that relate to land ownership records in Western Australia are administered by Landgate, who is the Western Australian Land Information Authority

As land related fraud and identity theft have become more widespread, Landgate has introduce a range of measures designed to improve the identification of parties to land transactions and ensure as far as is possible, that transactions do not take place fraudulently. As a result of this, we are required to provide a great deal more information to Landgate than had traditionally been the case.

Sellers, Buyers and any parties involved in a land transaction may be asked to provide documents such as passports, drivers licences, credit cards, water rates bills or other identification documents so that we can comply with Landgate’s requirements. Landgate may also require us to provide copies of these documents to them, or to provide them with further information in our possession, such as bank account details, the destination of funds paid to parties at settlement or other information they require to confirm the transaction to be genuine. It is also possible that as a result of Landgate’s requirements, information may need to be handed over at settlement which meets these requirements, and it may also be that we need to deliver this information to other people for it to be lodged at Landgate to enable our clients settlement to occur.

The purpose of this Notice is to advise our clients that this is a potential requirement and that by complying, we will not be breaching the Privacy Act 1988 or the National Privacy Principles. We reiterate our commitment in keeping our clients information private and to advise that the use to which our clients information may be put, will be in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act.

Supply of your personal data to the Australian Taxation Office

In addition, Commonwealth Government legislation came into effect on 1 July 2017 requiring more information to be provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) when property ownership changes. This applies to all buyers and sellers across Australia. The requirement is a Council of Australian Government (COAG) initiative to enable the ATO to develop consistent and comparable datasets in the national database, which will reduce tax error and increase tax compliance.

Every state and territory is implementing the data collection in accordance with individual state legislation. In Western Australia this initiative has been led by Landgate, supported by the Office of State Revenue.

The ATO proposes to use the information for the purpose of information-matching and ensuring compliance with the taxation laws of the Commonwealth Government. In addition, the information (which will include information about the nationality and residency of sellers and buyers) is to be used for the purposes of a National Register of Foreign Ownership of Land Titles to be administered by the ATO.

Only authorised parties will have access to the information. The information will not be made available to anyone who does not have a valid reason to access it.

Personal information will be kept separate from the Title Register, which is a publicly searchable record. Personal information will be retained in a secure and encrypted database. They will be uploaded at the required time to the ATO via a secure portal. The portal of data entry will be encrypted and authenticated.

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