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In a media release issued on 29 September 2006, the ATO announced that ANZ Bank and the ATO had entered into a Forward Compliance Arrangement, an innovative new compliance process designed to promote best tax practice and reduce tax compliance costs for both business and the ATO. ANZ is the first Australian company to undertake such an initiative, which is designed primarily for large corporates.

The Forward Compliance Arrangement covers ANZ’s Goods and Service Tax (GST) compliance. It follows an $8 million investment by ANZ over the past three years to ensure the effectiveness of its tax compliance processes and systems and to establish a strong GST governance compliance framework within the Group’s Corporate Governance framework. The Forward Compliance Arrangement between ANZ and the ATO is effective immediately and will run for an initial trial period of 3 years.

The Forward Compliance Arrangement provides an alternative to traditional ATO audit activities and is viewed as an open and transparent forward looking approach to tax compliance. It requires a high standard of taxation self examination and a commitment to continuous disclosure to the ATO of actual and potential GST and governance risks.

For a copy of the ATO media release, No Nat 2006/39, 29 September 2006, go here

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