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  • Our responsibilities

    The ATO is responsible for:

    • collecting revenue
    • administering the goods and services tax (GST) on behalf of the Australian states and territories
    • governing a range of programs that result in transfers and benefits back to the community
    • administering major aspects of Australia's superannuation system
    • custodianship of the Australian Business Register.

    The TPB and ACNC operate independently of the ATO and each produces their own annual report. Their reports are available at and respectively. The Commissioner for Taxation is the accountable authority for these programs for the purposes of the PGPA Act.

    Scale of our activities

    Figure 1.1 Scale of our activities

    Image showing the scale of our activities, being: 10.9 million individuals not in business, 3.8 million small businesses including sole traders, 925,000 employers, 597,250 super funds, 232,000 privately owned and wealthy groups, 194,000 not-for-profit organisations, 34,000 public and multinational businesses, 33,800 registered and active tax and BAS agents.

    Our ministers

    This year, there were five ministers with responsibility for matters relating to the tax and superannuation systems:

    • The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer – from 1 July 2016
    • The Hon. Kelly O'Dwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services – from 19 July 2016
    • The Hon. Michael McCormack MP, Minister for Small Business – from 19 July 2016
    • The Hon. Michael Sukkar MP, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer – from 24 January 2017
    • The Hon. Alex Hawke MP, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer – from 1 July to 19 July 2016.

    From 1 to 19 July 2016, The Hon. Kelly O'Dwyer MP was Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer.


    The ATO purpose is to contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians by fostering willing participation in our tax and superannuation systems. We are:

    • making it easier for people to participate
    • delivering contemporary and tailored service
    • ensuring purposeful and respectful relationships
    • a professional and productive organisation.


    We are a leading tax and superannuation administration known for our contemporary service, expertise and integrity.


    • Build a culture that embodies our values and transforms the client experience
    • Simplify interactions, maximise automation and reduce costs
    • Connect with the community and other agencies in meaningful ways
    • Influence policy and law design for more certain outcomes
    • Use data in a smarter way to improve decisions, services and compliance
    • Reshape the workforce and how we work, to optimise capability and performance

    Values and behaviours

    The ATO has a set of cultural traits for improving our clients’ experience of the tax and superannuation systems and in achieving our vision. ATO staff are supported in and recognised as being:

    • client focused
    • united and connected
    • empowered and trusted
    • future oriented
    • passionate and committed.

    In their interactions with the community, other government agencies, and in the workplace, ATO employees are also guided by the APS Employment Principles, Code of Conduct and Values, which require us to be impartial, committed to service, accountable, respectful and ethical.

      Last modified: 30 Oct 2017QC 53635