Review into improving the self assessment system – Released 13 February 2013

The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) conducted a review into improving aspects of the income tax self-assessment specifically focussing on:

  • the advice framework
  • the ATO’s compliance approach regarding recent administrative requirements
  • the penalty and interest regimes
  • tax law complexity and ability to administer the law in a pragmatic manner.

Treasury undertook a detailed examination of the self-assessment regime in 2004 (ROSA review) and made significant recommendations to the government and the ATO for improvements to the system. Overall, representations to this review expressed broad agreement with the overall aims of the ROSA review. However, many indicated that there was room for further improvement and questioned whether a number of the recommendations were implemented as intended.

The implementation of the agreed recommendations will:

  • improve the provision of public binding advice, such as tailoring the scope of ATO public rulings to improve timeliness, improve issues identification for the public rulings program and providing protection to taxpayers
  • address the impacts of risk differentiation compliance approach including the reduction of costs arising from ATO information requests, adjusting certain statutory periods of review and improvements to specific ATO compliance activities
  • improvements to the penalties and interest regime in light of changes to ATO compliance approaches
  • improve existing public consultation processes and reviewing the Commissioner of Taxation’s administrative discretion to facilitate relief to taxpayers facing unintended, anomalous, inequitable or impractical outcomes.
    Last modified: 22 Dec 2014QC 43559