• Program blueprint summary

    Our blueprint for reinvention reflects what the community wants from the ATO – the kind of experience they want to have when they participate in the tax and super systems.
    Chris Jordan AO, Commissioner of Taxation

    We’re already working from our blueprint and expect to deliver the changes people want progressively in the years ahead. Some changes will happen in the near future and other changes will take longer – and delivery will be influenced by many factors, including legislative direction, finance and our work with other agencies.

    You can view the full blueprint in HTML or download the full blueprint or summary in Portable Document Format (PDF). Download the full blueprint (3.9MB)This link will download a file or the summary blueprint (800KB)This link will download a file.

    Our blueprint for change

    We are changing the way we work. We want to give our clients, staff and stakeholders the best possible experience with the tax and superannuation systems.

    To achieve our vision of being a contemporary, service-oriented organisation, we are transforming how our clients experience the tax and superannuation systems. We will underpin this transformation through significant cultural change and improvements for our staff.

    Our transformation is driven by the changing environment and expectations of the Australian community. It also supports the government’s drive for productivity, efficiency and deregulation.

    In response to community and government needs, we created a blueprint for change. It was built on extensive consultation and an understanding of the interactions people have with the tax and superannuation systems and other government services.

    The blueprint reflects the kind of experience the community and our staff want to have when they participate in the tax and superannuation systems. It is our anchor point and will provide a clear line of sight to what we want to achieve as we reinvent the ATO. Throughout the program, we’ll continue to consult with the community to ensure we’re on track to provide the right experience.

    We’re already working from the blueprint and expect to deliver the changes people want progressively in the years ahead. Some changes will happen in the near future and other changes will take longer – and delivery will be influenced by many factors, including legislative direction, finance and our work with other agencies.

    This version of our blueprint includes the future experiences for some of our clients but not all of them. We are working with our other client groups to understand their needs and reflect them in our future plans.

    Community confidence is a foundation of our blueprint and is critical for maximising willing participation in the tax and superannuation systems. We’ll continue to build that confidence by ensuring everyone pays the right tax at the right time. We’ll support those who choose to do the right thing and deal with those who don’t. We’ll listen to our clients to get a comprehensive understanding of their circumstances and anticipate when they may need help.

    Ultimately, the true measure of success of our reinvention will be client satisfaction and participation in the tax and superannuation systems.

    Evolving the tax and superannuation systems

    The broader environment, including community expectations, is changing rapidly. As this occurs, we will continue to review and evolve our administration of the tax and superannuation systems to ensure it remains contemporary and meets the needs of the day.

    Right approach for the right time

     

    Pre – 1986:
    ATO assessment era

    1986 – 2014:
    Self-assessment era

    Towards 2020 and beyond:
    Streamlined self-assessment

    Australian environment

    No personal computers or internet, reliance on TV and print media

    Emergence of personal computers, the internet and mobile devices, and changing community expectations

    Globalisation, digital economy, social media, rapidly changing community expectations, digital by design

    Tax administration program

    ATO assessment
    Based on full and complete disclosure

    Self-assessment
    Based on true and correct statements

    Streamlined self-assessment
    Based on integrated digital solutions and stronger relationships

    Client services

    Front counter, mail, telephone

    Call centres, field services, emerging digital services

    Right services at the right time

    Attitude to administration

    We set the standards and protect the revenue

    Agreed mutual obligations and protect the revenue

    We align to community standards and expectations and ensure taxpayers pay the right amount

    Style of workplace

    Focus on individual, rigid procedures and rules

    Increased focus on teams and multiskilling, rigid procedures and rules

    Agile and empowered networks of individuals and teams

    Structural divisions

    Regional divisions

    Market based divisions

    Whole-of-client, whole-of-government, whole-of-ATO

    Primary medium

    Paper records

    Paper moving to electronic records

    Integrated digital solutions

    Business design focus

    Internally focused

    Listening to the community

    Foster willing participation by making it easy to get things right and hard not to

    Risk culture

    No risk tolerance

    Risk aversion

    Sensible risk management

    Risk approach

    No risk differentiation, random selection

    Compliance model and risk differentiation framework

    Tailored engagement based on risk

    Compliance focus

    100% assessment

    Risk based reviews and audits

    Increasing voluntary compliance

    What people told us they need in the future

    During our community consultations, we explored what people needed to help get their tax and superannuation right and make the experience easier for them.

    Clients

    Fix the basics:

    • Remove irritants with the things I use frequently, for example make information on ato.gov.au easier to find and understand
    • Minimise red tape
    • Help me to be aware of my entitlements and obligations.

    Foster confidence and trust:

    • Give me certainty of my tax and super position, in a timely way. Let me know quickly when you notice something isn’t right and help me to resolve it
    • Deal with people who are not complying or who are abusing the tax or superannuation systems.

    Tailor my interactions:

    • Provide interactions which are easy to access, secure, timely and available at a time that suits me, and are professional and respectful
    • Work with other government agencies and intermediaries to improve my whole-of-system experience
    • Keep pace with technology trends making services contemporary and easy for me to get things right.

    Help me navigate complexity:

    • Provide information and services which are tailored to my behaviour and situation, and are easy to find and understand. This will help me to get things right and avoid mistakes
    • Foster excellent working relationships through early engagement
    • Provide the right advice at the right time.
    • Show me what I need to do, particularly when my normal practices have to change.

    Staff

    Fix the basics:

    • Remove irritants from the tools I rely on
    • Minimise red tape, including empowering me to make decisions and be accountable
    • Raise my awareness of how I can enact change by giving me practical examples that I can build on and easily use.

    Valued and supported:

    • Respect me for my experience and skills, and trust me to use them
    • Listen to my suggestions and feedback
    • Give me strong, consistent leaders who support my development, provide clear expectations and guidance and who deal with underperformance.

    Effective tools and processes:

    • Show me what I need to do, particularly when my normal practices have to change
    • Give me access to technology and law that enables me to get the job done
    • Communicate in a way that is consistent, timely, tailored, and honest, so I understand the practical implications for me and my work.

    Guiding principles for our transformation

    Five principles will guide our transformation of the client and staff experience.

    Principle 1: Easy to get things right

    • Contemporary digital experiences provided in the way people expect
    • Strong relationships support the right outcomes
    • Integrated with natural systems used in day-to-day life and red tape is minimised
    • Emphasis on prevention before correction
    • Design of the system is agile and responsive to change and demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement
    • Right information and services at the right time. Answers are easy to find and understand.

    Principle 2: Tailored experience

    • Interactions are tailored and reflect people’s behaviour and circumstances
    • Expectations and accountability are clear. Clients and staff understand what they need to do
    • Use of data and information anticipates needs, tailors services, is efficient and identifies areas of concern early, and helps to get things right.

    Principle 3: Excellent service

    • Interactions are professional, respectful and timely
    • Easy access to required services and information in a secure and timely way
    • Commitments to government and the community are met
    • We measure and report on what is valued by government and the community
    • We provide accurate information that can be relied on and understood.

    Principle 4: Fair and respectful treatment

    • Contributing to effective tax and superannuation systems is valued
    • Transparency and early engagement lead to increased certainty
    • Focus on enhancing community confidence for clients and staff.
    • Different views are heard and considered
    • Action is taken on issues with openness, empathy and integrity
    • Quality, pragmatic decisions are made in a timely manner
    • Different perspectives are taken into account in determining outcomes and resolving disputes if they arise.

    Principle 5: Service delivered in the most effective and efficient way

    The ATO may not always be the provider of services to the community. The ATO will partner with service providers to deliver efficient and effective services

    Focus is on a whole-of-client experience

    Working collaboratively within the ATO, across government and with the community to achieve the best outcomes.

    Tailored engagement based on risk

    We take a risk-based approach and our interactions will be based on behaviours and choices.

    We will tailor our future engagement with people according to the risk we believe their behaviour and affairs present to the tax and superannuation systems. Our approach will be determined by the complexity of people’s situations, the transparency of their affairs and their behaviour and choices.

    Minimal touch

    Minimal effort is needed to meet tax and super obligations and there will be minimal interaction with the ATO.

    For example:

    • Clients with straight forward affairs who try to do the right thing.
    • Clients who have transparent affairs, including items like employment income and investment income which is shared with the ATO through third parties.

    Low touch

    Whilst still low, a slightly increased level of effort or attention for clients who need to access tax and super information, services and tools to meet their particular needs.

    For example:

    • Clients who need advice or information to help them get things right.
    • Clients who are willing to engage with the ATO, such as contacting us to organise a payment arrangement.
    • Clients who may need gentle reminders to help get things right.
    • Clients with reasonably transparent affairs, such as, having to include information in your tax return that has not been prefilled.
    • Business which use software that automatically calculates and reports information.

    Medium touch

    An increasing interaction level for clients who seek our support and advice on tax and super matters when they encounter something new or complex, or who need increased assistance to get things right.

    For example:

    • Clients with low transparency will have the ATO engage proactively to understand their affairs.
    • Clients who need advice, services or information to help them navigate more complex tax and super issues.
    • Clients who may need firmer reminders to help get things right.
    • Clients who need higher levels of certainty around their tax and super affairs.

    High touch

    Increased attention from the ATO.

    For example:

    • Clients with more complex affairs receive strong levels of support and engagement in relation to tax and super matters.
    • Clients who are not transparent will have increased ATO attention to understand their affairs.
    • Clients who take a position on the law different to the ATO, should expect increased focus to resolve the differences.
    • Those choosing not to comply or who regularly take controversial interpretations of the law will receive intense attention from the ATO.
    • Those who abuse the tax and superannuation system will be dealt with using the full force of the law.

    Key changes to meet client needs

    We’ll tailor products and services to your needs. You’ll find it easier to get things right.

    The future client experience will deliver contemporary products and services that focus on client needs and make it easier to get things right and hard not to. We will:

    • fix the basics
    • foster confidence and trust by providing certainty and acting with integrity
    • tailor interactions to client needs
    • help clients to navigate the tax and superannuation systems.

    We’re already working towards delivering these future experiences. But some changes will take more time than others – and delivery will be influenced by a range of factors, including legislative direction, finance and our work with other agencies.

    This version of our blueprint includes the future experiences for some of our clients but not all of them. We are working with our other client groups to understand their needs and reflect them in our future plans.

    Individuals

    • Better services across government through an individual profile to deal with government online and in a single place.
    • Make it easy by telling government once and knowing government work together to improve services.
    • My circumstances are understood with tailored engagement and services based on behaviour and choices.
    • Right tax at the right time through a personalised tax rate and withholding at source.
    • A minimal touch through a streamlined tax and super experience.

    Small business

    • Better services across government through a single and secure entry point to online government services.
    • Make it easy by telling us once.
    • More time for business through integrated digital solutions between ATO, tax agents and business.
    • Getting what I need when I need it with service anytime.
    • My circumstances are understood with tailored engagement based on circumstances, behaviour and choices.

    Privately owned and wealthy groups

    • The value of conversation through excellent working relationships with the ATO.
    • Getting what I need when I need it with access to the right services for each circumstance.
    • By being open about my affairs, I know where I stand and the transparency of affairs allows the ATO to help clients and tailor services.
    • My circumstances are understood with tailored engagement based on tax risk, including behaviour and choices.

    Publicly listed business

    • The value of conversation through excellent working relationships with the ATO.
    • Our contribution is recognised with customised service for Australia’s largest taxpayers.
    • We know where we stand through regular and purposeful engagement.
    • Our circumstances are understood with tailored engagement based on business size, complexity and behaviour.

    Not for profit: charities

    • Better services across government with a single and secure entry point to online government services.
    • Strong confidence in the sector through a transparent public register that provides integrity in the system.
    • More time to run my charity by having the right services when needed.
    • My circumstances are understood with tailored engagement that includes timely, proactive services.

    Intermediaries: tax agents

    • Partners in the tax and superannuation systems through excellent working relationships with the ATO, and acknowledging agents’ collective role in improving compliance.
    • Adapting to change with an evolving business model that reflects broader environmental changes.
    • One place to interact with a single and secure entry point for online government services and information.
    • Make it easier with integrated practice software which links to client’s software and the ATO.
    • My circumstances are understood with tailored engagement based on circumstances and client preferences.

    Intermediaries: software developers

    • Partners in the tax and superannuation systems by implementing solutions that make compliance with tax and superannuation systems a by-product of core business activities.
    • Adapting to change by understanding and responding to the ongoing broader environmental changes.
    • Make it easier with software solutions that seamlessly interact with the ATO and government.
    • Shared journey by understanding operating environments and working together to capitalise on opportunities.
    • Right people, right time allowing for tailored engagement.

    Superannuation: APRA regulated super funds

    • Make it easier with digital and seamless interactions.
    • Better services across government by telling us once, through natural processes.
    • Getting what I need when I need it so information and advice is timely and tailored to circumstances.
    • The value of conversation through excellent working relationships with the ATO, resulting in good outcomes.

    Regulatory functions

    Superannuation: Self-managed super funds
    • Make it easier through a single entry point to access information and services.
    • More time to grow my savings by having integrated digital solutions which save time.
    • Minimise red tape through streamlined reporting and administrative processes
    • My circumstances are understood, allowing tailored engagement as a result.
    Excise payers
    • Trusted to manage obligations by being approved to operate and manage highly valuable commodities.
    • Make it easy by telling government once, through natural systems where possible.
    • More time for getting on with business by managing obligations through integrated digital solutions.
    • Getting what we need when we need it by having services available anytime.
    • Our circumstances are understood allowing for tailored engagement.

    Key changes to improve the staff experience

    We’ll set up our staff for success in their work, putting clients at the centre of everything we do.

    Our staff asked us to develop the capabilities and expertise required to succeed. We’ll support our people to broaden their knowledge and expertise and deliver a contemporary client experience. We will:

    • empower our staff to make decisions
    • value our staff and make them feel valued for their contribution
    • give our staff the right tools and resources to do the job
    • fix the basics, quickly identifying and addressing any irritants and blockers.
    Major areas of change and support for our staff

     

    Team member

    Team leader

    Specialist

    Senior leader

    Major areas of change for our staff

    Feel trusted

    Build trust

    Trusted source

    Champion trust

    Embrace growth

    Encourage growth

    Create growth

    Drive growth

    Achieve excellence

    Drive excellence

    Drive excellence

    Define excellence

    Supported to perform

    Support to lead

    Supported to perform

    Lead change

    Support for our staff through change

    Clearly defined career pathways, mentoring and mobility opportunities.

    A physical and digital environment suited to staff needs.

    Effective leadership programs.

    Opportunities for development that align to business needs.

    Tools to support innovation, knowledge transfer and social collaboration.

    Clear communication of leadership expectations at all levels.

    Tools and access to the right people, resources and information to do their work.

    Supported to enhance leadership skills through structured development programs.

    Acknowledged and supported to have quality, frequent discussions with staff as appropriate.

    An accountability strategy that defines responsibilities and expectations.

    Recognised as a trusted source and respected for their expertise

    Tailored secondment and rotation opportunities within specialist fields.

    Supported to expand and enhance professional and peer networks.

    A knowledge transfer process and tools to share expertise and experience.

    A process to ensure leadership is visible and the right connections to information and people are made.

    A process to ensure senior leadership is visible through the right networks.

    A performance system that supports senior leaders to set clear expectations and reward good behaviour.

    Identify and develop staff with senior leadership potential and build capability.

    Our emerging culture

    Our culture is the way we do things at the ATO. It underpins how we create the right experience for our clients and our staff. Cultural change supports our commitment to making our reinvention a reality.

    We want our people to be:

    Client focused

    • We put clients, external and internal, at the centre of everything we do.

    United and connected

    • We work as one team to deliver the right outcomes for the community.

    Empowered and trusted

    • We are supported to take ownership, exercise judgment and make reasonable decisions.

    Future oriented

    • We will be flexible and adapt to meet immediate and future challenges.

    Passionate and committed

    • We are passionate about our role in serving the community. We bring professionalism, energy and determination to everything we do.

    We also want to create enduring cultural change. To achieve this we will focus on:

    • leadership and accountability
    • values and behaviours
    • rewards and consequences
    • workforce
    • practices and processes
    • underpinning systems and structures.
    Last modified: 22 Aug 2016QC 49621