Grace Ng, Director at the Inspector General’s Office says her tax career came about “by accident”.

“I was at Sydney doing my undergraduate degree,” she says.

“There was a competition called the Higher Education Workplace Skills Olympiad where undergrads are placed in host organizations to solve commercial problems for an organization and you present your findings to the executive.

“And I was placed at the ATO and it opened up a whole new world for me because I didn't realize there were so many different aspects of tax administration,” she adds.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Grace applied for an intake at the ATO and became a graduate there. Ever since, she has loved tax and superannuation.

Following her time at the ATO, she then ended up working for ASIC and Treasury, and now at the Inspector General of Taxation.

Biggest achievement

“One of my biggest achievements today is my involvement in implementing SuperStream,” says Grace.

SuperStream is the way businesses must pay employee superannuation guarantee contributions to super funds. With SuperStream money and data are sent electronically in a standard format. SuperStream transmits money and information consistently across the super system – between employers, funds, service providers and the ATO.

It must be used by:

  • employers
  • self-managed super funds
  • APRA-regulated funds.

 “I got to experience SuperStream from policy development all the way to implementation,” she continues.

“I worked at Treasury when we were consulting with the ATO and the super industry about how to design the data standard and then I worked for the ATO in actually implementing SuperStream.

“It was an amazing effort and I ... one of the reasons why I think it's one of my biggest achievements is because I managed to learn about all the technical details about the data standard using technical terms like XPRL and things I never thought I would be doing while I was in the tax office.

“I think it just goes to show how diverse tax is,” she adds.

Grace learned how enabling services for the tax system are a vital part of the overall tax system and is proud to have been a part of the team that helped change the superannuation landscape, where super contributions and rollovers are now done faster with less errors.

More to tax

“I've also been a mentor for UNSW's business schools speed mentoring program for fresh uni students,” she says.

“And when I speak to them about how I work in tax and I work in government, they're always surprised that I don't spend my days auditing.

“So my advice to them has always been that tax is broader than they think, and that they should consider other agencies as well in thinking about where they want to contribute to improving the tax system.”

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