Published on 01 Oct 05
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
This article reports on research on the gap between the expectations that tax agents, who engage in GST work, have of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO); and the expectations that ATO staff have of tax agents. The research is based on responses to a 2002/2003 survey of a sample of registered tax agents. The ATO was unable to participate. Similar surveys have been undertaken in the United Kingdom. Inter alia, the research reported here revealed mixed views on the part of practitioners. Many felt the administrators had a poor understanding of business and of the tax agents’ work and processes. More than half the group thought GST is fair and principled, but three-quarters of the group agreed that GST is not easy. The sample had a favourable view of GST public rulings, but a less favourable view of other ATO advice and communications. The research provides a valuable snapshot of tax agents’ perceptions of the GST and its administrators in the early years of GST and it is suggested that more research – and the comparison with the ATO view of practitioners would be illuminating.