Bonus Article, JobKeeper payments to get data match scrutiny between ATO and Social Services

Notice was posted recently in the Commonwealth Gazette (C2020G00570) of a data matching program that is to be launched between the ATO and Services Australia — the government body that became the executive agency in February this year in the Social Services portfolio (responsible for health, social and welfare payments and services).

The notice of the new data matching program notes that the exchange of data involves comparing information held by the ATO in relation to the JobKeeper payment and information reported to Services Australia’s “customers” in relation to social security payments.

The aim, as described in the Gazette notice, is to uncover people who may be registered for both the JobKeeper program and social security payments, and “identify social security customers who may need extra support to correctly declare their income, to help prevent them getting an overpayment”.

A protocol document describing the program was developed in consultation with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which is available here. In this document, it is stated: “This program involves the Agency receiving a data file from the ATO which will contain a list of all employees who have been nominated for JobKeeper Payment by an eligible employer. The Agency will then undertake a matching process of this data against the Agency’s social security payment customers and claimants.”

It says the matching process compares the following fields of data of each payee:

  • tax file number
  • family name
  • given name
  • additional name (other name)
  • date of birth.

The announcements this week of changes to the JobKeeper scheme appears to have no bearing on the direction of the data matching program.