As outlined in our Tax Practitioner Action Plan 2011–15 , this year we:
- improved how tax practitioners interact with us electronically by adding functionality to the tax agent and BAS agent portals, including the ability to view electronic notices of assessment
- enhanced the relationship management program to ensure the support and assistance we provide is more efficient and tailored to agents' needs, focusing on electronic and phone interactions
- contacted over 2,000 newly registered agents to establish the foundation for a positive and professional relationship
- provided assistance through the Tax Agent Lodgment Support Program, to over 200 tax practitioners who were unable to meet their lodgment program due to unforseen circumstances
- introduced a more streamlined complaints process for tax practitioners
- initiated regional open forums to receive direct feedback from regional practitioners.
In July 2012, we launched Tax, super + youExternal Link, our contemporary digital curriculum resource for secondary school students. At 30 June 2013, around 740 secondary schools had registered to use the resource. We also received almost 138,000 student TFN applications this year through our schools education program. Later this year, we will be piloting an elective unit on Small Business Structures and Taxation with the University of Sydney Business School.
We launched a new Diversity in focusExternal Link newsletter to showcase and promote our products and services to assist diverse audiences. We also developed new print and online products in languages other than English.
The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in its Report 434 stated:
The Committee sees a lot of value in the ATO's YouTube channel as a way of providing easy to understand advice to taxpayers. The ability to easily provide information in different languages for business owners and taxpayers of non English speaking backgrounds is of significant value and can only assist with ensuring increased compliance.
Through our National Aboriginal and Islander Resource Centre, we provided a specialised phone and face-to-face service for Indigenous Australians. We also commissioned an Indigenous design which we apply to products for Indigenous audiences and developed two online videos and new products for Indigenous small businesses. We broadcast 34 segments on the National Indigenous Radio Service and other special broadcasting service Indigenous radio programs, and provided information and assistance at 10 Indigenous community events.
We provided support services to help people with a disability, including tax and superannuation information and products in a range of accessible formats. Our dedicated disabilityExternal Link internet page provides access to information of specific relevance to people with disability. We also presented 14 twice-weekly tax segments on radio for people with a print disability.
In June 2013 we released the ATO multicultural plan 2013–15. This plan furthers our direction to ensure our programs, information and services are accessible to all Australians and that equitable outcomes can be expected, regardless of language or cultural background.