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Trust, confidence and integrity - the foundations for a strong tax system

Publication date: 15 Mar 18 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The Tax Institute supports the Commissioner of Taxation’s significant efforts to build trust, confidence and integrity in the tax system.

Building trust and confidence in the tax system and ensuring integrity in the system was the theme of the message that came through loud and clear in Commissioner Chris Jordan AO’s address today at The Tax Institute’s 33rd National Convention in Cairns, Queensland.

To do this, the Commissioner must hold all players in the tax system to account for their behaviour, including taxpayers, tax professionals and the ATO.

In response, The Tax Institute’s Senior Tax Counsel, Professor Bob Deutsch CTA, said “There are three key players in the tax system – taxpayers, the ATO and tax professionals. They all have a significant role to play in ensuring the foundation of the tax system remains strong. The Tax Institute will do its part to ensure the tax professionals we represent positively contribute to the maintenance of that foundation.”

The Commissioner also emphasised the areas where the ATO had recently focused its efforts to significantly impact on improving trust and confidence in the system. These included undeclared income, unexplained wealth, incorrectly claimed private expenses, unpaid super guarantee and cash-only businesses.

“None of these focus areas should come as a surprise. One way or another, they all can contribute to an erosion of the revenue base, weakening the integrity in the system and thus chipping away at the foundations,” said Professor Deutsch. “It is not surprising the ATO would want to take action to repair the chinks in the foundations.”

There also appears to be a continued strong emphasis on international tax arrangements consistent with what we have seen in recent times.