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Coalition Focus on Tax Administration Welcome

Publication date: 22 May 13 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Wednesday 22 May 2013: The Shadow Treasurer’s focus on improving the ATO-taxpayer relationship in his post-Budget reply address today is a welcome recognition of tax professionals’ concerns said The Tax Institute.

Steve Westaway, President of The Tax Institute said: “The ATO-taxpayer relationship is central to maintaining confidence in the integrity of our tax administration system.

“The Shadow Treasurer’s announcement of additional Parliamentary review to focus on the ATO’s operations and organisational structure will supplement the new Commissioner’s ongoing efforts to reform aspects of the ATO’s operations,” he said.

Mr Westaway noted that Commissioner Jordan recently announced at The Tax Institute's National Convention that an Independent Review Function would be set up within the ATO.

“The division should address actual or perceived biases in the handling of tax audits and disputes by offering a more independent evaluation process.

“The Tax Institute strongly supports any initiative that leads to more open, transparent and productive ATO-taxpayer relationship. Parliamentary examination of further potential improvements in tax administration would be welcomed by tax professionals,” said Mr Westaway.

The Tax Institute also welcomed the Coalition policy of appointing more “outsiders” to the ATO’s Executive branch.

“Ongoing injections of private sector expertise into the Executive branch of Australia’s largest Government agency will further improve ATO understanding of business and individual taxpayer concerns.

“An ongoing focus on improving the tripartite tax law design process will supplement existing processes in the form of Treasury and the ATO’s Tax and Superannuation Protocol.

“Mr Hockey’s commitment to an all-encompassing, mature debate on the efficiency and sustainability of our tax system including the GST heeds ongoing Tax Institute calls for such a debate,” concluded Mr Westaway.



  • Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, 0468 987 300