The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released details of a data-matching program which will enable it to match income data it collects from social welfare recipients with tax return-related data reported to the ATO. The data matching will assist DHS to identify social welfare recipients who may not have correctly disclosed their income and assets. In addition, data DHS receives from the ATO will be electronically matched with certain departmental records to identify people’s noncompliance with income or other reporting obligations.
DHS expects to match each of the approximately seven million unique records held in its Centrelink database. Based on noncompliance criteria, the DHS anticipates it will examine approximately 20,000 records in the first phase of the project. The category of people who may be affected by the data matching includes welfare recipients who have lodged a tax return with the ATO during the period 2011 to 2014.