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  • KPI 1 performance summary

    Regulators do not unnecessarily impede the efficient operation of regulated entities

    The following table shows the measures of good regulatory performance and the related metrics. The results of the metrics and analysis are outlined in the Appendix.





    Demonstrate an understanding of the operating environment of the industry or organisation, or the circumstances of individuals and the current and emerging issues that affect the sector.

    1, A1, A2, S1, S2


    Take actions to minimise the potential for unintended negative impacts of ATO activities on taxpayers or affected supplier industries and supply chains.

    2, 3, S3, S4


    Implement continuous improvement strategies to reduce the costs of compliance for taxpayers.

    4–8, S5

    Self-assessment rating: Good

    This assessment is based on the results of the metrics relating to each measure and the examples of how we have reduced impediments to the efficient operation of regulated entities.

    Summary of metric results

    Performance either improved or met target for six of the 15 metrics for this KPI with four remaining relatively stable, three showing a decline and two based on activities.

    Positive outcomes were achieved through 2017–18 with respect to a decline in the number of complaints and their timely resolution, as well as a reduction in unintended administrative costs for businesses and a significant increase in the use of the Australian Business Register (ABR). However, positive perceptions of ease and cost of meeting obligations declined for businesses in 2017–18 while perceptions of individuals against these two criteria remained broadly stable.

    Activity-based examples

    Along with protecting revenue, the ATO is charged with protecting people’s superannuation. We work with the superannuation industry to provide information to allow individuals to make informed decisions about their retirement.

    This year we undertook significant work to implement the government’s superannuation reforms. This included developing ways for funds to report information to the ATO, which allows us to assist individuals to not breach their obligations around excess contributions.

    We made superannuation balance details available via ATO online, allowing individuals to make better decisions relating to their superannuation caps, and eligibility for super co-contributions and spouse contributions tax offset. Two new services were introduced during the year – the Member Account Attribute Service and the Member Account Transaction Service. These require super funds to report their member contributions and transactions when they occur from 1 July 2018. We are working closely with funds to ensure a smooth implementation by 1 April 2019.

    Introducing Single Touch Payroll (STP) in 2017–18 for employers with 20 or more employees was a major milestone in providing clients with a streamlined and improved experience. STP is designed around an employer’s natural business processes. With STP, we can help employees review the super payments their employer has made on their behalf. We worked closely with digital service providers to ensure their STP-enabled software products were ready for employers with 20 or more employees to report from 1 July 2018. At the end of June 2018, we had almost 3,900 employers voluntarily reporting to us each pay day. We have invested in information technology infrastructure to ensure our systems and platforms have sufficient capacity to meet forecasted transaction peaks.

    During the year, we provided more tailored support to our various client groups to facilitate and encourage voluntary compliance, and make the taxpayer experience helpful and ‘light-touch’. Individuals (not in business) are supported by the ATO in a range of ways. Our myTax portal is more streamlined, efficient and personalised and pre-fills information provided to us by employers, banks and government agencies, making it easier for taxpayers to complete their tax return. Our information guides have also been streamlined, making them simpler and easier to understand.

    A penalty relief initiative has been implemented so that when taxpayers make an inadvertent error, by failing to take reasonable care in their income tax returns and activity statements, they are not penalised. We also implemented the total superannuation balance initiative, which simplifies and makes more transparent the superannuation interests of our clients.

    Thousands of taxpayers were assisted through our Tax Help program, with the dedicated work of over 760 volunteers in more than 600 centres. To help taxpayers get their tax returns right, we guided them with 170,000 real-time messages – for example, on work-related expenses, and dividend and interest income.

    Through our work on the Australian Business Register in 2017–18, the ABR remained a trusted source of data for business, government and the community, with over 1 billion ABN lookups taking place. We continued to make improvements to the register and the registration process to ensure the experience strikes the right balance between making it easy to get things right, and hard not to.

    Starting up a business has been made easier through the launch of the Business Registration ServiceExternal Link. In addition, an approved third-party registration service has been successfully trialled since February 2017, saving businesses time by letting them apply for their ABN and other multiple key business and tax registrations on the one form.

    By promoting a common language for business information and standards for electronic information sharing, the SBR program contributed $1.45 billion in administrative savings to business and the government in 2017–18. To support its evolution and ongoing relevance, we continue to engage and build our relationships with key partner agencies. This included delivering SBR future state plans which will adopt a federated data model.

      Last modified: 08 Feb 2019QC 57845