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Que for aussies: Can Aust tax dept revoke Passport?

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I have an old friend who has significant health issues but unsure whats going to happen. 

 

One of his worries is that he has a sizeable penalty to pay to the ATO and doesn't have the dosh to pay it. 

 

If he doesnt pay it what will happen? Will they proceed to bankruptcy? Actually he is more worried about them revoking a passport. Can they do this?

 

thanks

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Moving to the Home Country forum. 

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If you are an Australian citizen I doubt a passport can be revoked for any reason, certainly not by the ATO for owing them money.

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They can freeze bank accounts or garnish income such as pensions. I would strongly doubt the ATO would have the power to revoke a passport, that's the bailiwick of the Department of Home Affairs. Or DFAT.

What would the ATO gain by revoking his passport? If he is deported to Australia, Border Force would not let him in.

Usually, the ATO prefers to stay out of the limelight with negotiated settlements. Your friend may be better off contacting them to explain his situation. They do allow tax debts to be paid off by instalment.

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Posted (edited)

ATO cannot revoke a passport.  Only DFAT and the Ministry of Home affairs has the power to request a passport be revolked.

 

 

 

 

Edited by steven100
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21 minutes ago, Bruce Aussie Chiang Mai said:

Just go bankrupt wipe ATO debt.

Heaps people do it in Australia.

Agree, but depends if the 'friend' returned to Oz, Would not be permitted to leave without permission during the bankruptcy period, usually 3 years, but can be more

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Bruce Aussie Chiang Mai said:

Just go bankrupt wipe ATO debt.

Heaps people do it in Australia.

IN AUSTRALIA  going bankrupt does not clear a tax dept. further more they can raid your bank accounts & also seize any money owing to you from a third party. the ATO have very broad powers.

Edited by agrow

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7 minutes ago, agrow said:

IN AUSTRALIA  going bankrupt does not clear a tax dept.

Are you sure?

 

You can go into bankruptcy voluntarily by filing a debtor's petition with the Australian Financial Security AuthorityExternal Link.

 

https://www.ato.gov.au/general/paying-the-ato/if-you-don-t-pay/#Bankruptcynotice

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On 7/11/2020 at 6:14 PM, giddyup said:

If you are an Australian citizen I doubt a passport can be revoked for any reason, certainly not by the ATO for owing them money.

If you hold dual citizenship the minister has the power to revoke the Australian citizenship for terrorist related offenses, which means you lose the passport, but not if it would leave you stateless.

The ATO as you say does not have that power.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Bruce Aussie Chiang Mai said:

Just go bankrupt wipe ATO debt.

Heaps people do it in Australia.

Only problem with that is once declared bankrupt your passport is automatically cancelled, and I know this from personal experience many moons ago.

Edited by TigerandDog
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2 hours ago, agrow said:

IN AUSTRALIA  going bankrupt does not clear a tax dept. further more they can raid your bank accounts & also seize any money owing to you from a third party. the ATO have very broad powers.

Incorrect

Does Bankruptcy clear ATO debt?
AFSA explained that most ATO debts are covered by bankruptcy. This means they do not have to be repaid (except in certain circumstances). The ATO would still be a creditor in the bankruptcy, which meant that if any money became available to pay creditors, the ATO would get a share.

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2 hours ago, agrow said:

IN AUSTRALIA  going bankrupt does not clear a tax dept. further more they can raid your bank accounts & also seize any money owing to you from a third party. the ATO have very broad powers.

If it is the case that Australia does not allow you to go bankrupt because of unpaid taxes, it must be the only Western country that does that. Remember going bankrupt means closing your bank accounts - in some jurisdictions they leave you with one very basic account and often no ATM card for up to a year and many other restrictions. Your assets are sold off, your accounts are cleaned out and all is used to give to your creditors with the tax office usually getting preference. In many countries, the tax office will threaten, among other things, to bankrupt you.

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