Following the passing of the Opens in a new window: Education Legislation Amendment (Overseas Debt Recovery) Act 2015 on 9 November 2015, the department is now able to access Tax File Numbers.
This measure is designed to improve data quality and the efficiency of data exchange with the ATO. This will simplify administration, improve data accuracy and reliability and support more effective management of overseas debt recovery and HELP more generally.
The collection of unencrypted TFNs is one of the first steps towards the real time transfer of student HELP data to the ATO, which is scheduled for implementation in mid‑2017.
To support this development, the department will start collecting unencrypted TFNS from April 2016. This will not require any change to the way you currently report your HELP data - there will be no change to the way you use HEPCAT and you will still use your existing ATO encryption key. The department will modify its systems to enable the collection of unencrypted TFNs with no disruption to your existing processes.