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  • Program performance

    Our program objectives, deliverables and key performance indicators are published in the Portfolio Budget Statements which are released annually to accompany the Australian Government Budget. They are used to monitor and assess our performance. Our performance for the last three years is detailed below.

    Table 2.1 Program deliverables and key performance indicators, 2010–11 to 2012–13

    Program 1.1: Australian Taxation Office

    The objective of the ATO is to administer aspects of Australia's taxation and superannuation systems fairly by helping people do the right thing, by making it as easy as possible for taxpayers to comply, ensuring effective strategies are in place to deter, detect and deal with non-compliance, and developing and supporting the capability of its people and of others in the system.

    Program component 1.1.1: Our expertise supports government priorities and encourages community participation

     

    Deliverable

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Advise government on policy, forecasting and administrative matters

    Demonstrated by advice to government on matters including:

    • monthly pay as you go (PAYG) instalments for large companies
    • transferring lost member superannuation accounts
    • erosion of the corporate tax base.
     

    Supporting government priorities

    Design and build administrative solutions for new policy, law and other initiatives

    Demonstrated by implementing administrative arrangements that delivered the intent of all new measures for the 2012–13 year, following consultation with the community and/or intermediaries.

    Supporting government priorities

    Clarify the law and provide clear advice as to the ATO's view of the law

    Demonstrated by strategic litigation and advice to the community and Treasury, resulting in:

    • two High Court decisions on construction of key GST provisions
    • various decisions of the High Court and Federal Court in relation to the general anti-avoidance provisions and other income tax, GST and petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) matters
    • amendments to the income tax general anti-avoidance provision and transfer pricing rules
    • providing financial assistance in seven test cases where litigation was likely to clarify the law.
     

    Working across government, Litigation

    Support other agencies

    Demonstrated by:

    • providing taxpayer income and employment details to support Centrelink compliance checks
    • providing around 340,000 data-matched records to assist with the tracking of visa overstayers
    • implementing the private health insurance rebate data stream for 2013
    • chairing the Inter-Agency Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum.
     

    Working across government, Alternative dispute resolution

    Manage Government and stakeholder relations

    Demonstrated by providing to our ministers over:

    • 300 minutes
    • 580 draft ministerial responses
    • 540 responses to Questions on Notice.
     

    Working with government, other agencies and internationally, Parliamentary committees

    Key performance
    indicator

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Progress new administrative solutions to support taxation and superannuation administration

    Demonstrated by developing administrative solutions, including new online services, such as our ATO Tax 2013 app, to help individuals self-manage aspects of their superannuation and income tax accounts.

    Service delivery

    Reduce legal risks and increase certainty through ATO views

    Demonstrated by:

    • expanding the use of early dispute resolution processes to reduce litigation
    • managing our strategic litigation program.
     

    Resolving disputes

    Manage the ATO's commitments to governments and other agencies

    Demonstrated by:

    • managing revenue collections and collection of GST on behalf of state and territory governments
    • supporting the establishment of, and transition to, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
    • establishing 22 new memorandums of understanding with other government agencies.
     

    Working with government, other agencies and internationally, Net tax collections

    Program component 1.1.2: We support people willing to participate and make it as easy as possible for them to fulfil their responsibilities at minimum cost

    Table 2.1 Program deliverables and key performance indicators, 2010–11 to 2012–13
    continued

    Deliverable

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Register taxpayers

    Demonstrated by managing registrations and processing:

    • around 997,000 tax file number (TFN) applications
    • over 568,000 Australian business number (ABN) registrations
    • 23.3 million updates to taxpayer records for changes in personal circumstances.
     

    Registering

    Facilitate timely lodgments and follow up overdue lodgments

    Demonstrated by over 16.2 million income tax returns lodged in 2012–13.

    On-time lodgment of income tax returns has improved by two percentage points over the last three years across all entity types.

    Lodging

    Process returns and check accuracy

    Demonstrated by:

    • managing 31.5 million accounts
    • processing 43.3 million returns, activity statements, superannuation forms and TFN declarations
    • stopping over 100,000 suspected incorrect or fraudulent refunds and taking compliance action on over 71,000 returns with a net value of $189.5 million, compared to 79,000 with a net value of $200.1 million in 2011–12.
     

    Refunds and payments

    Receive payments, facilitate timely payments and follow up overdue payments

    Demonstrated by:

    • processing 21.2 million payments
    • issuing 13.7 million refunds
    • paying delayed-refund interest to the value of approximately $4.7 million
    • paying interest on overpayments to the value of approximately $432.8 million, attributable to successful court challenges by some large taxpayers.
     

    Refunds and payments

    Provide guidance to taxpayers on how to meet obligations

    Demonstrated by:

    • providing online self-help options for simple transactions and supporting the community in transitioning from paper to online interactions
    • developing or updating around 2,600 guidance products (including fact sheets, brochures and electronic products) designed to assist large numbers of taxpayers.
     

    Supporting willing participation

    Collect and manage debt

    Collectable debt increased by 6.5% compared to 2011–12 ($17.7 billion at 30 June 2013), despite collections attributable to our debt collection actions increasing by 15.4% compared to 2011–12. Debt collections for activity statements increased by 12.2% and income tax increased by 23.3%.

    Managing debt collection, Managing debt,
    Collecting debt, Recovering debts

    Key performance
    indicator

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Maintain correct registrations

    na

    Demonstrated by:

    • updating 23.3 million taxpayer records, 19.9% less than last year
    • improving the integrity of our change-of-details validation and notification services as part of our response to cases of online identity fraud in 2013.
     

    Registering

    Progress new services that support service delivery

    Demonstrated by providing new online self-service options allowing individuals to check the progress of their income tax returns, update their contact details and enter payment arrangements.

    Service delivery

    Proportion of lodgments on time

    na

    Demonstrated by most taxpayers continuing to lodge their returns on time. There was a two percentage point improvement in on-time lodgment over the past three years. For 2011–12 (the latest year for which data is available), 81.3% of income tax returns were lodged on time.

    Lodging

    Proportion of payments received on time

    na

    Demonstrated by the proportion of liabilities paid in full by the due date, which was 75.0% of transactions and 89.1% of amounts. Outcomes are similar for each of the major revenue products.

    Refunds and payments

    Maintain acceptable service standards

    Demonstrated by:

    • meeting all of our 21 service standards
    • improving our service standards and cycle times when compared to last year, with similar volumes.
     

    Service standards

    Maintain quality and practical means of assistance

    Demonstrated by:

    • our telephony quality assurance result for service provided of 94.7% against a benchmark of 90%
    • 4.8% reduction in the number of complaints on our telephony service compared to last year
    • receiving over 800 compliments.
     

    Customer service

    Optimise debt collection for the current environment

    In a challenging environment, we achieved a 15.4% increase in collections attributable to our debt collection actions compared to 2011–12.

    We provided targeted support to taxpayers experiencing financial difficulty. This included granting:

    • release from payment for those experiencing serious hardship – up 3.5% compared to 2011–12
    • general interest charge-free payment arrangements to small businesses – at 30 June 2013 there were around 32,000 in place to the value of almost $700 million.
     

    Managing debt collection, Managing debt,
    Collecting debt,Recovering debts

    Program component 1.1.3: We support and protect people by dealing with those not willing to comply

    Deliverable

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Communicate and market products, services and benefits to the community

    Demonstrated by:

    • refreshing our Better Ways program to improve communication of our service delivery offering and online services
    • providing proactive and targeted messaging and paid advertising covering new measures
    • informing the community on how to recognise, reject and report tax avoidance arrangements.
     

    Supporting willing participation

    Provide interpretative advice and practical guidance

    Demonstrated by improved service standards and cycle times:

    • 94% for private rulings (compared to 90% in 2011–12), against a benchmark of 80% in 28 days
    • 85% for objections and reviews (compared to 77% in 2011–12), against a benchmark of 70% in 56 days
    • 92% for correspondence and other requests (compared to 88% in 2011–12), against a benchmark of 85% in 28 days.
     

    Service standards

    Identify and respond to behaviours presenting a compliance risk

    Demonstrated by:

    • undertaking 6.2 million compliance activities, raising over $9.3 billion in additional tax liabilities and over $2.8 billion in penalties and interest liabilities
    • $7.9 billion in additional cash collections, some of which related to liabilities raised in prior years.
     

    Ensuring fairness for the community

    Undertake preventative actions to reduce the rate of occurrence of non-compliant behaviour

    Demonstrated by:

    • preventative compliance actions, including almost 48,000 field visits, over 530,000 phone calls and 5.6 million letters
    • contacting almost 450,000 taxpayers, where our data-matching programs identified a discrepancy in tax disclosures.
     

    Ensuring fairness for the community

    Key performance
    indicator

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Products, services and tools are available to help people meet their obligations

    na

    Demonstrated by:

    • e-tax lodgment service
    • educational and assistance products and publications and small business benchmarks for a range of industries
    • website and online tools and calculators
    • early warning alerts to inform the community about tax planning issues which are under risk assessment
    • use of YouTube, social media, email and mail channels.
     

    Service delivery, Guidance and advice,
    Encouraging compliance, Enforcing compliance

    Issue advice and practical guidance that assists people to meet their obligations

    Demonstrated by:

    • issuing more than 7,800 private rulings and administratively binding advices and 69 public rulings
    • 54 media releases.
     

    Guidance and advice

    Reduce non-compliant behaviours through deterring, detecting and dealing with taxpayers not willing to comply

    Demonstrated by:

    • measuring aspects of our audit and review activities for changes in compliance – for example, in checking some employer obligations, an estimated 97.7% correctly reported in the following two years
    • 13.0% of our compliance actions resulting in an adjustment of taxpayers liabilities.
     

    Encouraging compliance, Enforcing compliance

    Establish the nature and extent of non-compliant behaviour and, where appropriate, apply penalties and prosecute

    Demonstrated by:

    • over 1,900 in-house administrative prosecutions for 2012–13, almost 1,700 of which had a successful outcome, with $7.7 million awarded in fines and costs
    • in 87% of completed prosecutions, the court found the charges were proven.
     

    Detecting, dealing with and deterring tax crime

    Program 1.3: Australian Business Register

    The objective of the program is to progress the ABR as a whole-of-government resource for streamlining business and government interactions. The ABN acts as the unique identifier enabling these interactions. AUSkey is a common authentication solution and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) provides the development and management of the operating solution for business-to-government online services.

    Deliverable

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Maintain and manage the ABR, AUSkey registrations and systems including the integrity of the data and information

    na

    Demonstrated by:

    • registering over 636,000 ABNs (a 2.1% increase on 2011–12), of which around 65,000 were for entities that had previously held an ABN
    • developing a review and assurance function and reviewing over 1.0 million ABN holders during the year
    • cancelling around 354,000 ABNs for entities not entitled to be registered
    • active AUSkeys increasing to over 834,000, compared to 750,000 in 2011–12.
     

    Australian Business Register

    Progress the ABR, AUSkey and SBR operating solutions as whole-of-government resources to streamline interactions between government and business

    na

    Demonstrated by:

    • our agreements with 385 government agencies, allowing them to use non-public ABR data
    • 21 agencies now using AUSkey
    • 12 agencies, including the ATO, participating in SBR.
     

    Australian Business Register

    Provide eligible government entities with access to details of registered ABN holders

    Demonstrated by:

    • providing nearly 1,900 bulk data extracts from the ABR to partner agencies, an increase of 51.4% on 2011–12
    • implementing changes to the ABR to expand the range of details available to eligible government agencies.
     

    Australian Business Register

    Provide the community with access to publicly available data to assist in verifying core business identity and other government registration information

    Demonstrated by 372.9 million searches on the ABN Lookup service, an increase of 32.7% on 2011–12.

    ABR performance

    Key performance
    indicator

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Increase agency awareness and engagement of the ABR

    na

    Demonstrated by engaging partner agencies to collaborate on the design of ABR enhancements to ensure the data they receive better meets their needs.

    Australian Business Register

    Improve integrity of the ABR data

    Demonstrated by:

    • our increased compliance activity, which resulted in more than 1.0 million ABNs being reviewed
    • cancellation of the registrations of around 131,000 entities that advised us they had ceased running an enterprise.
     

    Australian Business Register

    Maintain acceptable service standards

    Demonstrated by meeting the Registrations – Australian Business Register service standard; an improvement on the previous year where intermittent system instability affected our performance.

    Service standards,
    Australian Business Register

    SBR system is operational and delivering within agreed standards

    na

    Demonstrated by the SBR production system operating at 100% (excluding scheduled outages). This is above the agreed terms of 98.5% in the Agency Services Agreement.

    Standard Business Reporting

    Increase the adoption and use of AUSkey by business, intermediaries and government agencies

    na

    Demonstrated by:

    • over 834,000 active AUSkeys, representing around 41,000 additional businesses in 2012–13, an 11% increase over last year
    • our continued engagement with government agencies to demonstrate the value of implementing AUSkey as their authentication solution
    • 21 agencies using AUSkey at 30 June 2013 compared to 15 at 30 June 2012, representing growth of 40%.
     

    AUSkey

    Program 1.4: Australian Valuation Office

    The AVO provides fee-for-service valuation-related services to the government sector. The objective of the AVO is to be recognised as the valuer of choice for government.

    Deliverable

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Valuation services

    Demonstrated by:

    • an operating surplus of $1.1 million before income tax
    • over 76,000 valuations and searches and over 35,000 related assessments conducted in accordance with the requirements of memorandums of understanding and other agreements.
     

    Australian Valuation Office

    Strategic advice on valuation issues

    Demonstrated by:

    • providing advice and guidance to a number of government agencies on appropriate methodologies and implementation of Indigenous-related initiatives
    • assisting the Indonesian Government with policy guidance.
     

    Australian Valuation Office

    Key performance
    indicator

    2010–11

    2011–12

    2012–13 performance

    Section

    Progress new services that support delivery of valuation services and strategic advice

    Demonstrated by:

    • positive feedback from clients on our delivery of multiple agreements
    • retaining all key clients during the year
    • establishing 175 new agreements with the Australian and state and territory governments.
     

    Australian Valuation Office

    Maintain acceptable service standards

    Demonstrated by:

    • positive feedback from regular clients on our performance – spanning measures such as timeliness of delivery, maintaining information technology infrastructure and representing government in the delivery of our services
    • results of independent research which indicated satisfaction with the AVO.
     

    Australian Valuation Office

    Strengthen relationships and satisfaction with key clients

    Demonstrated by assisting the Department of Human Services with delivery of Budget measures through:

    • data matching and cleansing
    • automated data updating
    • developing joint strategies to enable the most effective combination of products and services.
     

    Australian Valuation Office

    Maintain quality valuation services

    Demonstrated by promoting professional development for valuation employees to ensure their skills remain current.

    Australian Valuation Office

    = met

    = not met

    na = not applicable


    Deliverables and key performance indicators for programs 1.6 to 1.22 are reported in Administered programs.
      Last modified: 24 Dec 2014QC 42489