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30 Nov 12 Lodgment Working Group


On Friday 16 November 2012, Tax Counsel Stephanie Caredes CTA attended a meeting of the Lodgment Working Group. The ATO has issued the following key messages arising from the meeting in relation to the new Lodgment Framework:

The Lodgment Working Group meeting is used to co-design the strategies and initiatives to support the program of work. The key focus for the 16 November meeting was to update the group on the status of the project and to develop an agreed set of treatments to address non-compliance with the Lodgment Program performance standards.

Recent achievements include:

  • A targeted campaign schedule has been completed and activity has commenced to work closely with 1704 tax agents whose performance is below the standard. This will include field visits and telephone contact.
  • Marketing and communication – The ATO working in partnership with the Professional Associations will increase agents’ awareness of the new Lodgment Program framework through a variety of channels, products and activities.
  • As at 15 November 2012, we have received 1,793 requests for bulk client deletion. We have completed 1,438 requests removing 139,502 clients; currently the requests are being actioned within 1 week of receipt. From January 2013, we will be trialling several pilots to re-engage with these clients.

Performance

  • As part of the transition year, the ATO will email to tax agents their performance letters. The first letter tax agents will receive provides a summary of their Lodgment Program 2011-12 on time performance and a comparison to similar sized tax practices. Letters will be emailed progressively from 4 to 14 December 2012. Included in the letter will be a link to the Lodgment Program performance fact sheet which will be published on the ATO website.
  • In the New Year, we will email a second performance letter. This letter will provide you with a summary of your current performance with the Lodgment Program for the 2012-13 year.
  • To assist you to understand the new framework and in particular the performance requirements and how you may improve your performance, we will be providing support tools such as best practice guides, practical tips, tax agent performance results and Frequently Asked Questions.

Treatments

  • The ATO will continue to support those practices that work with us and engage a range of treatment strategies to encourage compliance to achieve a level playing field.
  • Where support activities do not result in improved performance, compliance activities may occur. These activities may range from tailored Lodgment Programs to sanctions such as loss of the Lodgment Program in certain circumstances.

Members who seek further information in relation to the above should contact us at Tax Policy.