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  • GST administration annual performance report 2016–17

    Foreword

    On behalf of the Commissioner of Taxation, I am pleased to present the ATO’s GST administration annual performance report for 2016–17.

    Our collections growth this year, while not quite as high as last year, has remained consistent with overall consumption of goods and services subject to GST. We raised $59.8 billion in GST cash (excluding non-general interest charge penalties), 4.3% higher than last year. A further $2.9 billion in GST liabilities was raised through our direct compliance activities, a 12% decrease on last year’s outcome. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) raised a further $54.3 million through their compliance activities.

    This year, we have seen a number of important legislative decisions, particularly on the sharing economy and in the precious metal industry. Legislation has also been introduced on digital currency and low value imported goods. To support our clients with these changes, we have engaged with the community through industry bodies, and published a number of new public advice products, such as the Law Companion Guideline GST on low value imported goods.

    Our debt collection activities faced a number of challenges this year, including the impact of natural disasters and a challenging economic environment for small business. As a result, our on-time payment performance has declined slightly, by 1.3%, and collectable debt is up by 13.5%. Our focus on early engagement and improvements to the client experience has resulted in a 10.5% decrease in the number of GST collectable debt cases.

    As part of our goal to reduce compliance costs and cut red tape, we introduced several improvements to make interacting with the ATO easier for our clients. This includes enhanced digital interaction, such as voice authentication. It also includes the Simpler BAS, which will save approximately 2.6 million small businesses an average of $590 in compliance costs each year. This approach helps us to better tailor our services to clients’ needs.

    We will continue to make better use of data to engage earlier with our clients and help them get things right from the start. Where they do have a question around our decisions, we are engaging early in the process to reduce objections and litigation.

    We received 291 fewer objections this year, indicating our dispute resolution strategies at the audit stage are proving effective in reducing the need for clients to make a formal objection. Where it is appropriate, we also consider settlement. In 2015–16 we settled 49 cases, and this year we settled 75. Similarly, the number of cases that result in litigation has also decreased and we have 69 cases on hand at 30 June 2017, 10% less than last year.

    I would like to thank the Treasury, the states and territories representatives on the GST Administration Subcommittee and the GST Policy and Administration Subgroup, for their ongoing support and advice during the year.

    Tim Dyce

    Deputy Commissioner, Indirect Tax

      Last modified: 30 Jan 2018QC 54336