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01 Mar 13 ATO Tax Practitioner Forum

On Wednesday 27 February 2013, Tax Counsel Stephanie Caredes CTA attended a meeting of the ATO Tax Practitioner Forum (ATPF). Many issues were discussed as put forward by both the ATO and the ATPF’s external members. A short summary of the main issues discussed follows:

  • Information and Communications Technology Forward Work Plan – an update was provided to ATPF members about the ATO’s forward work program in relation to Information and Communications Technology including updating ATO systems to accommodate the use of “Standard Business Reporting”.
  • Wealthy Australians projects – ATPF members were provided with a  briefing from the ATO about the projects focusing on compliance by “wealthy Australians” including how the risk differentiation framework was to apply to them.  Members were advised about the program involving the compliance notification letters to be sent to 3,000 SMEs and risk reports to be sent to 500 selected SMEs later in the year. Members were also advised about the pilot program involving 50 privately owned groups of entities relating to co-ordinating the debts of entities in the same group.
  • ATO’s approach to debt collection – at the request of members, the ATO advised of the role the Business Viability Assessment Tool (see link) plays in the ATO’s debt collection procedures.
  • Lodgment Program Differentiation Framework update – at the request of members, an update was provided in relation to the Lodgment Program Differentiation Framework. Members had an opportunity to provide feedback on common concerns that have been raised with them in respect of the Framework.
  • ATO’s approach to data matching – at the request of members, the ATO provided detail on how the ATO uses data matching, the benefits which have been obtained and, in particular, how the information from the motor vehicle data matching program currently underway will be used.
  • Timely CGT updates for tax practitioners to assist with planning and return updates – the external members requested the ATO consider improving the timeliness and availability of a document it issues that refers to common CGT disposals (the “Capital Gains Tax Update”: see link).
  • Tax Practitioner Action Plan – the ATO gave an update regarding the progress of the Tax Practitioner Action Plan since its introduction 12 months ago.
  • Small Business Benchmarks – the ATO gave a brief overview of the changes it was making since the release of the Inspector-General of Taxation’s Review into the ATO’s use of benchmarking to target the cash economy.

Members requiring any further information in relation to any of the above items should contact us at Tax Policy.