21 Apr 11 One year since the IGT’s review into the Change Program announced – what’s the next step?
TaxVine readers will recall that this time last year, many of our members were facing extremely difficult challenges following the implementation of the final stage of the ATO’s “Change Program”. On 19 April 2010, the then Assistant Treasurer, Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, directed the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) to conduct a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Change Program. The IGT released his terms of reference for the review shortly thereafter. The Tax institute lodged a submission, setting out our members’ concerns with the Change Program: refund delays, problems with the payment of interest on delayed refunds, the lack of lodgement deferrals, hardship and escalation protocols and a raft of other issues.
A number of members have recently asked, what has come about from the IGT’s review? The IGT handed his report to the government on 3 December 2010. Under the terms of the IGT’s legislation, the Minister has 25 sitting days of each House of the Parliament to publicly release the report. By our count, that means the report must be released by early June 2011. The Commissioner would have already been given an opportunity to respond to the report, and as is the usual practice, he will have indicated his acceptance or rejection of the IGT’s specific recommendations in the report.
The Tax Institute is keenly awaiting the release of the report, and communicating the findings and recommendations to our members.