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On 19 March 2015, the Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan, addressed the Tax Institute’s 30th national convention. The Commissioner released the Reinventing the ATO Blueprint and spoke about how the ATO is consolidating, building, evolving, listening and delivering on the promise of Reinventing the ATO.

The Blueprint outlines six formal programs of work for the ATO:

  1. Digital infrastructure – setting up the necessary equipment, systems, technologies, communications and software that will enable people to interact easily in the digital world.
  2. Tailored services based on profile, history and circumstances – where people get what they need, when they need it, and in the form they want.
  3. Smarter data – clever, fast and sophisticated use of information, with systems that are able to analyse, predict, anticipate, pre-fill, and generate meaningful risk profiles.
  4. Working with partners – achieving business outcomes through healthy working relationships with the various players in the tax and super systems; public service partners for whole-of government, international counterparts across jurisdictions, the tax profession, the software industry, and other service providers etc.
  5. Workforce capability and culture – deliberate strategies to build capabilities and change ATO culture.
  6. Governance and evaluation – new accountabilities, forums, measures and reporting for reinvention.

To help the ATO adapt to this digital age and dynamic environment together, the Future of the Tax Profession Working Group has been formed. The members are representatives from the tax professional community, including professional associations, software developers, the Tax Practitioners Board, tax and BAS agents and the ATO.

Based on the advice from the working group, ATO efforts for 2015 and 2016 are targeted at:

  • maintaining and improving the stability of the tax agent portal
  • making existing portal services available to software providers, so they can provide them in tax professionals practice management software
  • working with software providers to ensure their products are sufficiently tested and contain the most up to date information
  • engaging with a broader cross-section of the profession (like the current suburban open forums) to ensure everyone is prepared for going online, and
  • ensuring access to the latest information and a better experience on the website.

The Commissioner also spoke about:

  • Building Confidence, the new name for what was known as Compliance in Focus
  • disputes and litigation
  • debt management
  • large corporates
  • international tax matters, and
  • looking ahead, for individuals, and privately-owned groups and wealthy individuals.

For the full text of the Commissioner’s speech go here.


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