Complaints, compliments, research, media and external scrutiny provide insights into how we are perceived and highlight areas for improvement.
We saw a decrease of 30.5% in the number of formal complaints received during 2012–13, when compared to 2011–12. We are also resolving complaints in a more timely manner, as evidenced by our service standards. The main types of complaints we resolved during 2012–13 were:
- timeliness of processing ABN applications, TFN applications and income tax returns
- failed escalation of issues
- people disagreeing with our decisions.
Using feedback from the Commonwealth Ombudsman, we are looking to improve our communication with taxpayers.
Each year, as part of our ongoing research program, we conduct surveys to better understand community perceptions and to gauge satisfaction with aspects of our service.
This year we completed the final round of our current survey program which included professionalism, micro businesses perception, community perception, small and medium enterprises perception and tax practitioner surveys.
The results from these surveys were consistently high, as in previous years, with only slight variations in results compared to last year. The tax practitioner results were noticeably lower than those from the other markets; however their results showed some of the biggest improvement compared to previous years.
The surveys in the current program will be combined to allow for greater comparisons, with a pilot of our single corporate perceptions survey expected to be conducted in early 2014.
In 2013, 82% of respondents to our community perceptions survey agreed that 'overall the ATO is doing a good job'. This high level of endorsement has remained relatively stable over the last five years.