A public officer is the representative and point of contact between the company and the ATO. These obligations fall under Section 252 of the INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT ACT 1936. The public officer is therefore responsible for the company complying with the legislation and are liable for penalties should the company violate these responsibilities.
A company has only one public officer and the requirements are as follows:
- At least 18 years old
- Resides in Australia
- Capable of understanding the nature of the person's appointment as a public officer of the company
A public officer does not have to also be a director of the company, though they often are.