Published on 01 Apr 12
by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE
The author has spent nearly 47 years in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), rising to become Chief Tax Counsel and, for some periods, acting Second Commissioner. In this address (which was delivered on 29 November 2011), he reflects on his career, and examines issues that are relevant for the ATO and for the overall tax and superannuation systems. In the area of law interpretation, including dispute resolution, the author encourages greater engagement between ATO law experts and tax practitioners.
In relation to litigation, there is the challenge for both the ATO and the tax profession of improving law clarification through the courts. The author urges a collaborative approach to the ongoing challenge of dealing with aggressive tax planning arrangements, and highlights the need for early communication by the ATO of its concerns and views about such arrangements. On policy advice and law design, it is important to have people effectively involved from both the public and private sectors, with shared objectives for improving the system.