ATO: Debts again being offset against tax refunds
The ATO has issued a reminder that it is again offsetting tax debts of not-for-profits, small businesses and individuals against any tax refunds that may be due to them. The ATO pointed out that this process of offsetting refunds or credits temporarily paused due to the pandemic and its financial impact on taxpayers, but that since June 2022 it has started offsetting refunds and credits to pay off debts on hold.

Veteran support payment exempt from tax 
The Defence, Veterans’ and Families’ Acute Support Package Bill 2022 received assent on 7 October 2022. The Bill generally provides for the making of support payments to “more vulnerable” veterans and their families. This will be achieved by way of government instruments made under relevant legislation dealing with veteran entitlement and compensation. The measures in the Bill also provide that such support payments will be exempt from income tax and will not be included as income for the purposes of social security law. These measures apply for the 2022–23 income year and later income years.

ATO: Protection against personal data breaches
In the light of recent major data breaches, the ATO has released guidance on how to help in the protection of personal information and strengthen defences in the event that personal information is breached. The information, which comes from Australian Cyber Security Centre, sets out steps and strategies for protecting such personal information.