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  • Metric 1

    This metric is used to assess Measures 1.1, 3.2, 6.1 and 6.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of matters that have been consulted on

    68

    62

    93

    In 2016–17, we completed consultation on 93 matters of importance, with 29 of these relating to the remaking of legislative instruments. This result represents a significant increase compared to the number of completed consultations in the previous year, demonstrating we are listening to the community, industry groups, and the tax, accounting and legal professions about matters of concern and interest to our clients.

    Metric 2

    This metric is used to assess Measures 1.1 and 6.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Communication of our decision to consult on matters submitted (within 20 days)

    17

    (73% of 22 received)

    2

    (33% of 6 received)

    1

    (20% of 5 received)

    In 2016–17, we communicated our decision within 20 working days in one (20%) of five matters submitted. Of the remaining four matters submitted, communication was one day outside this benchmark for one matter, and within 30 working days for the three. This result represents a decline compared with previous years and is a focus for improvement in 2017–18, to ensure more timely responses to relevant stakeholders.

    Metric 3

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of visits to the consultation page of ato.gov.au

    12,981 visits

    13,452 visits

    This result represents an increase compared to the previous year. These visits demonstrate the level of interest from the community in actual matters and documents under consultation and our transparency as a regulator.

    Metric 4

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.1.

    Metric Result
    2015–16 Individuals Businesses
    The ATO gives me individual attention Agree 37% 40%
    Neutral 34% 36%
    Disagree 29% 24%
    2016–17 Individuals Businesses
    Agree 39% 39%
    Neutral 33% 34%
    Disagree 28% 27%

    The results indicate the perception of our clients (both individuals and businesses) in whether the ATO provides them with individual attention, remained relatively stable between 2015–16 and 2016–17, with a small increase in positive perceptions for individuals and a slight decrease for businesses.

    The level of agreement is relatively low compared with other client perceptions we have surveyed, indicating a need to provide more opportunities for individualised services and personal consultation where requested. The 2015–16 year self-assessment report identified tailoring of communication and services to clients as an area for improvement. We have a number of initiatives under way such as our small business tailored assistance program in continuing our focus on improving the perceptions of our clients in this area.

    Metric 5

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.1.

    Metric Result
    2015–16 Businesses only
    The ATO understands my industry operating environment Agree 34%
    Neutral 45%
    Disagree 21%
    2016–17 Businesses only
    Agree 39%
    Neutral 39%
    Disagree 22%

    The results of this survey in 2015–16 indicated that this was an area of improvement for the ATO. The survey results for 2016–17 suggests there has been a positive impact from the ATO’s research to increase their understanding in this area, with more businesses agreeing that the ATO understands their operating environment compared with 2015–16. Nonetheless, the level of agreement remains relatively low compared with the perceptions of other clients we have surveyed, indicating further scope for improvement.

    Metric 6

    This metric is used to assess Measures 1.2 and 3.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    People surveyed agreed that the ATO listens to and responds to feedback.

    (2016–17 performance target: greater than or equal to 2015–16 result)

    52%

    54%

    55%

    The perceptions that the ATO listens to and responds to feedback were slightly higher than in 2015–16.

    Views across client groups indicate:

    • tax professionals’ perceptions of the ATO were weaker than other customer groups with respect to responsiveness to feedback
    • businesses who had recently interacted with the ATO were a key contributor to the overall improvement in perceived view of the ATO’s responsiveness to feedback
    • recent contact with the ATO had a positive influence on wider perceptions of the ATO.

    Metric 7

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of complaints received

    24,644

    34,323

    25,073

    This metric demonstrates how the ATO supports the Taxpayers' Charter by respecting a clients’ right to make a complaint, if not satisfied with our decisions, services or actions.

    This result represents an improvement compared to 2015–16 and is more indicative of the historical trends in complaint volumes. In 2016–17, 25,073 complaints (inclusive of Inspector-General of Taxation complaints) were received by the ATO. To put that figure into context the number of complaints received is only a small proportion of our interactions with the community, representing 0.1% of the total tax returns lodged in 2016–17.

    We continue to implement strategies to address issues raised via complaints. For example, the main category of complaints in 2016–17 related to timeliness in processing of forms. We have reduced the amount of time taken to process refunds through improvements made in automating manual workloads. The number of refunds issuing within five business days is currently tracking at 72% this year (2017) compared to 59% last year (2016) and refunds issued within seven days has increased by 4% to 83%.

    Metric 8

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – 85% of complaints received are resolved in 15 business days, or within the date negotiated with the client

    94%

    87%

    93%

    This metric demonstrates if we are timely in resolving complaints to allow clients to meet the regulations we impose on them. In turn improving the client experience and supporting willing participation in the tax and superannuation system.

    The result represents a 6% improvement on the previous year, indicating increased timeliness from the ATO and exceeding the target of 85%. As was the case with Metric 7, the improvement observed in 2016–17 reflects a return to results which are broadly comparable with 2014–15.

    Metric 9

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.2.

    Metric

    Result
    2015–16 Individuals Businesses
    The cost of meeting my tax obligations is reasonable Agree 48% 45%
    Neutral 30% 29%
    Disagree 22% 26%
    2016–17 Individuals Businesses
    Agree   47%   49%  
    Neutral   34%   30%  
    Disagree   19%   21%  

    Results indicate that from 2015–16 to 2016–17, positive perceptions have remained relatively stable for individuals whilst improving for businesses. In addition, the percentage of clients who disagreed that the cost of meeting tax obligations is reasonable, declined from 2015–16 to 2016–17.

    The results still suggest a significant proportion of clients believe they are spending more time than necessary to meet tax obligations, which may adversely impact overall satisfaction with the ATO. A continued focus on previously identified areas for improvement, such as enhancing the accessibility and helpfulness of ATO information, together with greater use of data matching and pre-fill, is needed to support increased client certainty, with a decrease in time required and, therefore, cost in meeting tax obligations.

    Metric 10

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Adjusted average cost to individual taxpayers of managing their tax affairs

    (2016–17 performance target: maintain or reduce the cost, relative to 2014–15)

    3.5% reduction on prior year result

    (2013–14 returns)

    3.6% reduction on prior year result

    (2014–15 returns)

    1.0% reduction on prior year result

    (2015–16 returns)

    The adjusted average cost of managing tax affairs for 2015–16 income tax returns declined by 1.0% compared to the previous year, continuing its decline since the 2010–11 income year. After removing outliers that may unduly affect the result, the adjusted median cost of managing tax affairs gives an indication as to the underlying cost for most individuals. For 2015–16 income tax returns, the adjusted median has also declined at the rate of 1.0% on the previous year.

    The cost of managing tax affairs includes the costs of preparing and lodging tax returns and activity statements, fees paid to tax advisers, and the costs of tax reference material. While the impact of external market forces can influence these, our strategies for making it easier to comply, through the provision of the better guidance and advice and contemporary and digital services, also influence this trend.

    Metric 11

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Time-cost index for business and superannuation funds to prepare and complete key tax returns

    The indicator tracks multiple indexes at the macro level and reports on the trend analysis. For this reason there is no quantitative data provided for this metric.

    This metric demonstrates the ease/time to comply with regulations (key tax forms), the ATO requires clients to complete.

    The time-cost index uses averages of the time taken by taxpayers to prepare for and complete key tax forms. The index focuses on incremental changes, index increases show it is taking longer to prepare and complete forms and index decreases show it is taking less time.

    Across our main tax return forms and business activity statement (BAS) indexes, the time-cost index remains stable demonstrating that the time it takes for clients to complete key forms to meet there obligations has not increased. The exception to this is superannuation fund returns where the index has been variable, likely reflecting the ongoing changes in the superannuation system.

    Metric 12

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Reduction in the unintended administrative costs to business of complying with government regulation

    (2016–17 performance target: $1.39 billion)

    $400 million

    $1.2 billion

    $1.39 billion

    This metric demonstrates the reduction in administrative costs to both business and government gained through implementation, improvement and use of the Australian Business Register (ABR) and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) services.

    In 2016–17, an additional $0.19 billion of reduction in administrative costs was obtained, bringing the total annual reduction, relative to 2011–12, to $1.39 billion. This meets the performance target and demonstrates the reduction in the administrative costs to both business and government gained through implementation, improvement and use of the Australian Business Register (ABR) and Standard Business Reporting (SBR).

    As in previous years, this year’s outcome is largely due to SBR initiatives and improvements made within SuperStream leading to additional benefits in reporting to government.

    This result indicates that savings to business and government from the initiatives of the ABR program continues to deliver in reducing the reporting burden, minimising cost to business and enhance business interactions through natural-based systems for the business community.

    Metric 13

    This metric is used to assess Measures 1.3 and 4.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Increased use of the ABR as the national business dataset by government agencies and the community

    (2016–17 performance target:50% increase on 2015–16 result)

    54 datasets were provided to government agencies

    23.4% increase in ABN Lookup searches

    140 government agencies using ABR Explorer

    14% increase in ABN Lookup searches

    232 government agencies using ABR Explorer

    32.5% increase in ABN Lookup searches

    A 66% increase in ABR use by government agencies and a 32.5% increase in ABN Lookup searches each demonstrate the increased use of the national business register information (the ABR) by government agencies and the community. This outcome is largely due to increased marketing and engagement activities such as newsletters, attending conferences and referrals from current users. With further targeted activities planned for the coming year we expect the uptake in use of ABR Explorer and ABN lookup to continue.

    This result indicates that there is a continued growth in the number of agencies accessing ABR Data via ABR Explorer. Agencies have indicated they use this data to identify new business in their local government area, broader use for disaster recovery, planning and economic development and compliance analysis. There is a flow on effect for businesses, as they can update their details in the ABR and effectively update their records for a range of government agencies, which reduces their administrative costs.

    Metric 14

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–171

    Proportion of ABN applicants obtaining a decision online at the point of application

    72.3%

    73.5%

    86.4%

    This metric demonstrates improvements in the process used by business in applying for an Australian Business number (ABN) and aims to have at least 80% of ABN applications determined on the spot.

    There is a cost to both legitimate business and government as a result of delays in issuing an ABN:

    • business can experience a loss of income, delays in being able to invoice clients for work done and loss of accessing business discounts
    • government impacts can include lost taxation revenue and additional welfare payments whilst clients are waiting for their ABN to commence their business.

    In 2015–16, 73.5% of clients received an on the spot ABN decision. In October 2016, we implemented improvements to the application process and as a result the on the spot decision rate increased to 86.4% for 2016–17. The application process requires applicants to self-assess their ABN entitlement and is supported by post issue checks on ABNs identified as high risk of not being entitled to an ABN.

    1 From 1 July 2016, the target for this metric changed from ‘at least 75% of ABN applications are determined on the spot’ to ‘at least 80% of ABN applications are determined on the spot’.

    Metric 15

    This metric is used to assess Measure 1.3.

    Metric Result
    2015–16 Individuals Businesses
    Dealing with the ATO is getting easier Agree 58% 56%
    Neutral 22% 24%
    Disagree 20% 19%
    2016–17 Individuals Businesses
    Agree   55%   58%  
    Neutral   25%   22%  
    Disagree   20%   21%  

    Results indicate that from 2015–16 to 2016–17 perceptions have remained relatively stable, with a slight improvement for business and slight decline for individuals. Disagreement levels have also remained stable in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16 for both individuals and business clients.

    Metric 16

    This metric is used to assess Measures 2.1, 3.2 and 5.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of interpretive guidance products provided

    39,250

    43,000

    45,000

    This result represents an increase compared to the previous year. This is largely due to an increase in requests received for provision of guidance regarding the introduction of a new government revenue measure for Capital Gains Tax Withholding for non-residents, where a clearance certificate is required.

    The ATO provides interpretive guidance products to help our clients understand how the law applies to them making it easier for them to comply with obligations.

    Metric 17

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of private rulings provided

    8,300

    9,400

    7,300

    This result represents a decrease in private rulings compared to the previous year. This outcome is largely due to addressing issues on South Australian WorkCover matters with the issue of public advice – TD 2016/18 Income tax: is a redemption payment received by a worker under the Return to Work Act 2014 (SA) assessable income of the worker, which reduced the need for private rulings.

    A private ruling is binding advice that sets out how a tax law applies to clients in relation to a specific scheme or circumstance. A private ruling is a legally binding written expression of our opinion on the way a relevant provision applies, or would apply, to a particular taxpayer. The ATO provides private rulings to make it easier for a client to understand how the law applies to them making it easier for them to comply with their obligations.

    Metric 18

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.1 and 2.2.

    Metric

    Result

    Average days

    Median days

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Elapsed time in days for private rulings

    41

    38

    61

    27

    23

    36

    The 2016–17 result represents an increase in the average and median number of days taken to finalise private rulings. A focus of the Review of Private Advice in the first half of the 2016–17 year included identification and actioning of aging private ruling cases across the enterprise. Understanding the real need and information required was a much larger task prior to the introduction of the early engagement approach. Many of the cases significantly aged commenced prior to early engagement, with key factors for delay being in receiving direction. For example, release of taxation rulings or the outcomes of court or tribunal hearings. Notably there were 53 cases with elapsed days of greater than 500 days averaging 763 days to complete which were identified and addressed. While this focus has finalised a number of aging cases, it has resulted in an increased average for the 2016–17 year. We anticipate improved results in the 2017–18 year as a reflection of our focus on client experience and the ongoing success of expanding the early engagement approach to all markets.

    Metric 19

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of public rulings and determinations provided

    642

    322

    (693 including law companion guidelines)

    733

    During 2016–17, we provided 51 public rulings, binding advice that expresses our interpretation of the laws we administer. We also published 22 (10 draft and 12 final) law companion guidelines which provided specific and early guidance on new law, including Superannuation Reform and GST cross border issues. An increase in public rulings and law companion guidelines demonstrates we are providing binding advice and clarification on new law that assists clients to meet the regulations we impose.

    In addition, our project refresh initiative is modernising our stock of public rulings by updating, rewriting, consolidating and withdrawing rulings that are no longer relevant. To enhance the level of protection offered to taxpayers, we are re-issuing older income tax and capital gains tax rulings and where possible, consolidating related ATO interpretative decisions into the refreshed rulings.

    During 2016–17, around 191 rulings were reviewed (in addition to the 921 reviewed in 2015–16), 327 withdrawn, nine updated and five rewritten.

    2 Not including law companion guidelines.
    3 The methodology for this metric changed to include law companion guidelines.

    Metric 20

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of class rulings provided

    98

    115

    127

    The number of class rulings provided for 2016–17 is showing as an increase compared to previous years’ figures. However, a change in methodology for calculation of the number of class rulings issued has been undertaken for 2016–17 to provide a more complete picture of the work performed for the issue of class rulings. The figure for 2016–17 now includes all class rulings issued from new applications as well as updates to existing class rulings, and reflects a total of 111 new class rulings issued and updates completed to 16 existing class rulings.

    Metric 21

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of product rulings provided

    13

    10

    25

    A change in methodology for calculation of number of product rulings issued has been undertaken for 2016–17 to provide a more complete picture of the work performed for the issue of product rulings. Figures for 2016–17 reflect a total of 10 new product rulings issued as well as updates completed to 15 existing product rulings. Figures for the 2014–15 and 2015–16 years only include applications for new product rulings. Product rulings are generally issued based on either agricultural or financial products. The collapse of the agricultural Managed Investment Scheme industry (2009 to 2012), as well as a drop off in investor appetite for structured products/investments more generally, continues to the ongoing reduced demand in the number of such products available for investment.

    Metric 22

    This metric is used to assess Measures 2.1 and 2.2.

    Metric Result
    2014–15 2015–16 2016–17
    Service commitment – People surveyed agreed that the ATO provides information that can be:      
    – relied on*; and 75%* 78%* 73%*
    – understood** 76%** 78%** 76%**

    The 2016–17 result indicates a significant decline in the perception that the ATO provides information that can be relied upon compared to 2015–16. This was driven primarily by interactions with BAS agents (decreased from 81% to 72%) and for the online channel (decreased from 79% to 75%). Similarly there has been a decline to 76% in the perception that the ATO provides information that can be understood from 78% in 2015–16, due primarily to interactions with clients in the individuals segment (decreased from 80% to 76%) and tax professionals (decreased from 82% to 76%).

    The 2015–16 report identified tailoring services and communications to ensure clients, tax professionals and others interacting with the tax and superannuation systems have the information and support they need, as an area for improvement. The 2016–17 results suggest the need for a continued and sharper focus in this area.

    Metric 23

    This metric is used to assess Measures 2.1 and 2.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – People surveyed agreed that the ATO provides information sufficient to meet their needs

    76%

    79%

    77%

    The 2016–17 result indicates a slight decline compared to 2015–16 but a slight improvement compared to 2014–15. The result was driven primarily by the perceptions of tax professionals, 74% in 2016–17 compared to 80% in 2015–16.

    While the 2016–17 result represents a slight improvement overall since 2014–15, negative trends over that period have been observed for individual taxpayers (decrease from 79% to 74%) and small business clients (increase from 76% to 82%).

    Metric 24

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – People surveyed agreed that the ATO makes it easy to access services and information

    (2016–17 performance target: greater than or equal to 2015–16 result)

    70%

    78%

    (75%)4

    75%

    Perceptions that the ATO makes it easy to access services and information were stable compared to the full 2015–16 financial year result and met the performance target. It is also worth noting that the result is greater than was the case in both 2013–14 and 2014–15.

    Satisfaction with our website significantly increased in 2016–17, particularly in relation to ease of access on preferred devices and availability when needed.

    The ATO taking individual circumstances into account, and being knowledgeable in dealings, were two of the areas identified for improvement and related to inbound correspondence, where a reduction in overall satisfaction with that service was observed.

    4 The full 2015–16 financial year result now available for this metric was 75%.

    Metric 25

    This metric is used to assess Measures 2.2 and 5.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–165

    2016–176

    Service commitment – 90% of electronic taxpayer requests are finalised in 15 business days

    90%

    93%

    92%

    This metric indicates how timely we are in responding to taxpayer requests (correspondence and other requests initiated by taxpayers that require a response or action from the ATO) that may assist clients with meeting their obligations.

    Dealing with taxpayer requests in a timely basis also ensures that information we hold about clients is up to date and accurate. This includes important information about account balances and client contact details. As we continue to move clients to digital channels, to promote self-help models and provide greater transparency of information we hold in relation to clients, it is imperative that we have accurate and up to date information in our systems.

    Although there has been a very slight decrease in performance for this metric, the target of 90% has been met, demonstrating that the ATO continues to finalise taxpayer requests in a timely manner to enable taxpayers to meet their obligations.

    5 From 1 July 2015, the methodology changed to count electronic requests only. The basis for calculation also changed, from ‘cases finalised within 28 calendar days’.
    6 From 1 July 2016, the basis for calculation changed from ’85% of electronic taxpayer requests are finalised in 20 calendar days’ to ‘90% of electronic taxpayer requests are finalised in 15 business days’.

    Metric 26

    This metric is used to assess Measures 2.2 and 5.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – 80% of private rulings are finalised in 28 calendar days of receiving all necessary information

    90%

    91%

    85%

    This result shows we exceeded the service commitment; however, it represents a decline compared with the previous year. This outcome is largely due to an increase in complex private ruling requests and a decrease in routine private ruling requests, which has resulted in an overall increase in the time taken to respond.

    Metric 27

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    70% of objections are finalised in 56 calendar days of receiving all necessary information

    86%

    77%

    86%

    Our strategic focus has been to apply an approach of tailored timeliness to the management of all objections that is appropriate to the client’s circumstances. We have been using an indicator of ‘average cycle times’ to manage this operationally on a month by month basis, with results indicating a real reduction in the average and median cycle time to finalise objections.

    Metric 28

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – People surveyed agreed that the ATO informs them of what they need to do

    79%

    83%

    80%

    The 2016–17 result indicates a decline to 80%, from 83% in 2015–16. This is primarily due to a significant decrease for tax practitioners from 81% to 69%. Overall, this remains a positive result and the second most highly rated of the perceptions survey-based service commitment metrics.

    Metric 29

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Objections – if we find that the request raises particularly complex matters that will take more than 56 calendar days to resolve after receiving all the required information, we will aim to contact you within 14 calendar days to negotiate an extended reply – a target of 80%

    90%

    87%

    88%

    Our strategic focus has been to apply an approach of tailored timeliness to the management of all objections as appropriate to the objection and the client’s circumstances. We have been using an indicator of ‘average cycle times’ to manage this operationally on a month by month basis, with results indicating a real reduction in the average and median cycle time to finalise objections.

    Metric 30

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – Private rulings – if we find that your request raises particularly complex matters that will take more than 28 calendar days to resolve after receiving all the necessary information, we will aim to contact you within 14 calendar days to negotiate a due date – a target of 80%

    90%

    89%

    89%

    This result represents a consistent level of service compared with the previous year and exceeding the service commitment target of 80%. We have demonstrated that private rulings (with complex matters) can be finalised in a timely manner to ensure our clients are provided with the certainty needed for them to comply with obligations. When the provision of a private ruling is assessed as being complex and will take more than 28 days to resolve, after we receive all the necessary information, we contact the client within 14 days to renegotiate a due date.

    Metric 31

    This metric is used to assess Measure 2.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Community satisfaction with ATO performance

    (2016–17 performance target: greater than or equal to 2015–16 result)

    76%

    74%

    75%

    Community satisfaction with the ATO’s performance in 2016–17 was slightly higher than in 2015–16.

    With a few exceptions, overall the ATO’s performance against the 11 areas tested in our surveys of community satisfaction remained relatively stable. Consistent with previous years, nine of the 11 areas performed strongly, with the following identified as areas for improvement – ‘kept informed about status/ delays/ issues’ and ‘ATO would be responsive to feedback’.

    As was the case in 2015–16, people who had dealt with the ATO recently had a more positive view and greater level of satisfaction than those who had not had an interaction with the ATO for some time.

    Metric 32

    This metric is used to assess Measure 3.1.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Cost to collect net $100

    (2016–17 performance target: consistent with trend)

    $0.77 (gross)

    $0.84 (net)

    $0.77 (gross)

    $0.84 (net)

    $0.74 (gross)

    $0.81 (net)

    The cost to collect $100 decreased from $0.77 in 2015–16 to $0.74 in 2016–17, excluding GST and its administration costs. The decrease is largely due to the 4.9% increase in collections in 2016–17.

    Metric 33

    This metric is used to assess Measure 4.1.

    Metric Result
    2015–16 Individuals Businesses
    In the past 12 months, the ATO appears to be integrating its services better with other government departments Agree 54% 46%
    Neutral 37% 46%
    Disagree 9% 8%
    2016–17 Individuals Businesses
    Agree   49%   44%  
    Neutral   40%   43%  
    Disagree   11%   13%  

    Results for 2016–17 show perceptions have declined since 2015–16, highlighting an area for improvement in 2017–18. We acknowledge there may be lack of client visibility around integration of government services, and have identified the need to focus on greater communication/media coverage and promoting the resulting efficiency, effectiveness and streamlining to enhance the client experience and positively influence perceptions for this metric. Relatively high neutral response rates reflect significant potential to improve perceptions.

    Metric 34

    This metric is used to assess Measure 4.2.

    Metric Result
    2015–16 Individuals Businesses
    The ATO does not contact me unnecessarily Agree 72% 70%
    Neutral 20% 24%
    Disagree 8% 6%
    2016–17 Individuals Businesses
    Agree   65%   64%  
    Neutral   25%   25%  
    Disagree   10%   12%  

    Results indicate that perceptions have declined from 2015–16 to 2016–17 for both individuals and business clients. However, approximately two-thirds of clients still feel the ATO does not make contact with them any more than is required, which underscores the benefits of current ATO approaches and initiatives; for example, tailoring engagement according to circumstances, SMS reminders and enhancing online options, which minimise direct client contact and inconvenience.

    Metric 35

    This metric is used to assess Measure 4.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of memorandums of understanding

    115

    119

    115

    This metric demonstrates the number of memorandums of understanding we have with other government agencies.

    These memorandums of understanding may attempt to minimise or streamline regulations between us and other government departments. We currently have 115 in place. We continue to maintain our relationships with other government agencies and take a whole of government approach to support, amongst other things, better access to data and an improved client experience. For example, our new MOU with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection provides the ATO with data for the purposes of identifying, notifying and appropriately taxing working holiday visa holders.

    Metric 36

    This metric is used to assess Measure 4.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–167

    2016–178

    Number of international information exchanges (including specific, spontaneous and automatic exchanges)

    514 total exchanges

    (233 inbound, 281 outbound)

    691 total exchanges

    (409 inbound, 282 outbound)

    944 total exchanges

    (517 incoming, 427 outgoing)

    Our commitment to collaboration and cooperation is reflected in the increased number of international exchanges in 2016–17, through our work with the OECD and international agencies to accelerate development of solutions to broad challenges faced by the global system (such as base erosion and profit-shifting and the increasingly digitised economy).

    7 A correction has been made to the 2015–16 results due to incorrect reporting of 282 inbound and 409 outbound.
    8 This performance measure had a change of terminology in 2016–17 from inbound and outbound exchanges to incoming and outgoing exchanges.

    Metric 37

    This metric is used to assess Measure 4.3.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Improvement in the quality of key data on the ABR

    12.0%

    3.2%

    See qualitative assessment below

    In prior years, we have given a single measurement by averaging changes in key fields of ABR data. Given the actual percentage changes across key fields and the nature of the data (for example, some is more stable than others), a single figure is no longer an accurate reflection of the data quality of the ABR. We are now tracking individual key fields and have an improvement strategy against each of them where needed.

    For 2016–17, we contacted a representative sample of sole traders, partnerships and trusts to verify their ABN entitlement and the accuracy of their business data (instead of using a self-assessment questionnaire). The aim was to improve accuracy with human contact and the results showed some degradation as expected. Direct comparisons with 2015–16 are not appropriate, due to the change in methodology. The new approach has reset the baselines and aims to give us a higher level of assurance in the accuracy of business data and details going forward.

    Whilst we have received positive feedback from other Government agencies (primary data users) as to the quality of the information in the register there is a need to continue to improve the accuracy of business information and in particular address, associate and contact information. Hence we are maintaining a data improvement program in 2017–18.

    Metric 38

    This metric is used to assess Measure 4.4.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Number of compliance audits, reviews and other checks undertaken

    4.7m

    3.8m

    3.1m

    This metric demonstrates the number of compliance activities undertaken to address perceived risks to the integrity of the tax and superannuation systems.

    This result represents a decline in the number of activities undertaken from the previous year. However, the decline in activities is an indicator that our risk analysis and selection processes continue to improve and mature evidenced by the higher direct liabilities raised against less activities than in previous years.

    Metric 39

    This metric is used to assess Measure 5.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – People surveyed agreed that the time taken was acceptable

    70%

    78%

    76%

    The ATO continues to be viewed positively despite a slight decline in the perception that the time taken by ATO is acceptable compared to 2015–16. The 2016–17 result also reflects a significant increase compared with 2014–15, which has been driven by increases for small business clients and tax professionals, as well as for inbound phone and online channels.

    Metric 40

    This metric is used to assess Measure 5.2.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Service commitment – People surveyed agreed that the ATO lets them know of status or delays

    53%

    55%

    56%

    The 2016–17 result indicates a slight improvement in client perception that the ATO lets them know of status or delays compared to 2015–16. Although this measure remains one of the two least favourably rated of the perceptions survey-based service commitments, the 2016–17 result represents a continued gradual improvement compared to 2014–15. In addition, we met our 2016–17 service commitment that if we are unable to finalise an individual electronic tax return within 30 days of receipt we will inform the individual, by meeting this standard 100% of the time.

    Metric 41

    This metric is used to assess Measure 5.2.

    Metric Result
    2015–16 Individuals Businesses
    I am able to contact the ATO in a way that I want Agree 57% 59%
    Neutral 22% 19%
    Disagree 21% 22%
    2016–17 Individuals Businesses
    Agree   58%   63%  
    Neutral   21%   17%  
    Disagree   21%   20%  

    Results for 2016–17 showed improvement from 2015–16 for business clients whilst perceptions for individuals remained relatively stable. Other related indicators of client satisfaction – specifically accessibility and helpfulness of ATO information – also improved for businesses from 2015–16 to 2016–17. This suggests that an ATO focus in 2016–17 on enhancement of timely, relevant, accessible and tailored information has been important to these clients having the confidence to make their own decisions in how to interact with the ATO.

    Metric 42

    This metric is used to assess Measure 5.4.

    Metric

    Result

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    Perceptions of fairness in disputes

    (2016–17 performance target: greater than or equal to 2015–16 result)

    50%

    55%

    56%

    The results for the perception of fairness in disputes metric are slightly higher, compared to 2015–16. Our commitment to maintain and continuously develop a better client service environment in all our interactions and to improving the client experience is central to our objective of resolving disputes as early as possible, while ensuring we treat taxpayers fairly and in a consistent way.

    With the aim of preventing and managing disputes effectively during 2016–17, we continued to increase our level of early engagement with taxpayers. This has led to improvements in three key areas of influence:

    • time taken to make a decision
    • amount of client contact
    • ease and helpfulness of information provided by our officers to clients.

    Metric 43

    This metric is used to assess Measure 6.1.

    Metric Result
    2015–16 Individuals Businesses
    The ATO consults me about issues that affect me Agree 33% 29%
    Neutral 34% 33%
    Disagree 33% 38%
    2016–17 Individuals Businesses
    Agree   34%   34%  
    Neutral   35%   36%  
    Disagree   31%   30%  

    This metric demonstrates clients’ perceptions of whether the ATO consults them about issues that affect them. Results for 2016–17 showed an improvement from 2015–16 for business clients whilst perceptions for individuals also increased slightly. The 2015–16 year report identified a more consultative approach to issues directly affecting clients as an area for improvement, and recommended a more detailed exploration of this. The positive 2016–17 result reflects the ATO approach of proactively seeking feedback from clients, continuing to undertake research and facilitate online discussions (for example, ATO community, Let’s Talk), and other consultation processes. Nonetheless, the level of agreement is still relatively low compared with other client perceptions we have surveyed, indicating further scope for improvement.

      Last modified: 20 Dec 2017QC 54083