In a media release issued on 9 February 2014, the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGOT), Ali Noroozi, announced the commencement of public consultation for developing his new work program for 2014 and beyond.
Mr Noroozi said that as part of the consultation process, interested parties may make submission on any systemic issues that they have observed from their recent interactions with the ATO. They may also wish to comment on potential review topics which have either been raised by stakeholders over the previous year or have emerged from the conduct of previous IGOT reviews. These potential review topics include whether:
- a taxpayer bill of rights with enforceable remedies for inappropriate ATO conduct is needed or whether the current Taxpayers’ charter and compensation schemes provide sufficient taxpayer protection;
- the ATO’s approach to debt collection is appropriate, including whether it sufficiently considers taxpayers’ and third party creditors’ viability, both in terms of disputed debt and collectable debt;
- the ATO’s support for tax practitioners is adequate, including its approach to differentiated lodgement programs, electronic lodgement, payment and advice systems access;
- the ATO’s approach to test case litigation and funding arrangements allow taxpayers to conduct their case appropriately, including appeals on adverse decisions to a higher court;
- the ATO’s application of the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) is appropriate, including the management of relevant evidence, case selection, cost-benefit analysis, reputational impacts, internal decision making and also the level of the GAAR Panel’s independence;
- the ATO’s administration of the product ruling system is appropriately managed and accessible to taxpayers;
- the ATO’s audits of employer obligations, such as fringe benefits tax and PAYG withholding, supports and delivers appropriate, accurate, timely, consistent and transparent decisions;
- the ATO’s approach to information security sufficiently ensures data integrity and safeguards against cyber attacks and identity fraud;
- the ATO’s audits of not-for-profit organisations adequately considers their arrangements, exemption status and tax deductibility for donations received; and
- the ATO’s corporate quality assurance process (Integrated Quality Framework) is effective in identifying improvement opportunities and management’s effectiveness in delivering required change.
Submissions close 21 March 2014.