The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has revealed that it expects to disclose the debts of more than 9,000 businesses in October to credit reporting agencies.

These would be businesses that were not only behind on their tax or superannuation obligations, but had also received an intent to disclose notice and then not paid their debt or entered into an appropriate payment arrangement within 28 days.

Paying or engaging with the ATO is the only way to stop a business’s tax debt becoming visible in credit rating checks, according to assistant commissioner Jillian Kitto.

“Anyone with a debt is encouraged to reach out to us as soon as possible. We give businesses ample opportunity to re-engage with us. However, those who show continued and ongoing disregard for their tax and super obligations will have their debts disclosed,” he said.

“There is over $5 billion owed by businesses who currently meet the criteria for disclosure. We must draw a line in the sand to protect the Australian community and other creditors, and to ensure a level playing field for businesses who do the right thing.”

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