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  • Schedule C: Monitoring and review arrangements

    Schedule C of the GST Administration Performance Agreement (1 July 2017 - 30 June 2020) deals with monitoring and review arrangements. It is designed to ensure appropriate alignment of ATO parliamentary reporting responsibilities and reporting responsibilities under the agreement.

    Independent reviews of GST

    On 23 January 2017, the ANAO published its final report (No. 33 of 2016–17External Link) on the audit of 2015–16 financial statements of Australian Government entities. On 28 June 2017, the ANAO published its interim report (No. 60 of 2016–17External Link) on the audit of 2016–17 financial statements. Overall, both reports were positive for the ATO. The final 2016–17 report is expected to be published in early 2018.

    The final ANAO Report (No. 15 of 2016–17External Link), Meeting revenue commitments from compliance measures, was tabled in Parliament on 12 September 2016. The ANAO made three recommendations. The ATO partly agreed with Recommendation 1 (this has been implemented), fully agreed with Recommendation 2 (target implementation date is 31 July 2018) and disagreed with Recommendation 3.

    The ATO is continuing to implement recommendations of the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) in relation to our administration of penalties.

    The IGT review into GST refunds was undergoing scoping as at June 2017 and is expected to be finalised by the end of 2017. The terms of reference for this review, released on 5 April 2017, will focus on the GST refund verification process. In particular, the review will look at:

    • the accuracy of the GST refund verification process in detecting incorrect or fraudulent claims
    • engagement with affected taxpayers and their representatives throughout the process, including timely notification of the retention of the refund, the reasons for it and rights of review, as well as the appropriateness of any information requests and effectiveness of resolution mechanisms
    • interaction with other ATO compliance processes triggered due to other risks being identified or because the taxpayer is involved in certain industries
    • the time required to conduct verification activities and opportunities to expedite the process – for example, by pro-actively providing information to the ATO
    • the impact on taxpayers and their representatives when considered against resulting adjustments, as well as the ATO’s endeavours to minimise these impacts.

    Complaints

    In 2016–17, there were 1,551 complaints primarily involving GST or business activity statements, a 14% decrease on last year. Of these complaints, 39 were referrals from the IGT. More than three-quarters of the IGT referrals were complaints about the ATO’s decision-making or about timeliness.

    ATO corporate surveys

    Corporate Perceptions Survey

    The ATO Corporate Perceptions Survey provides overall community measurements of the ATO’s reputation and service delivery commitments.

    Survey participants include clients who have had recent contact with us, a sample of the wider general community, the business community, and tax and BAS agents.

    Preliminary findings from the March 2017 quarter survey indicate that overall satisfaction across all customer groups and channels combined has improved slightly (75% satisfaction, compared with 74% last year), particularly across four service commitment standards – timeliness, accessibility, being kept informed by ATO and ease of meeting obligations.

    Perceptions of fairness

    One of the guiding principles of the ATO’s program of reinvention is ‘fair and respectful treatment’ of the taxpayer. We have adjusted the frequency of measuring taxpayer perceptions of fairness, from quarterly to annual cycles. Our most recent findings have identified key themes across audit, advice, debt and dispute interactions:

    • good communication is key – it includes progress updates, as well as communicating expectations early on both process and outcomes
    • providing taxpayers with early certainty around what will happen, who will be involved, what they need to do, and when they need to do it.
      Last modified: 30 Jan 2018QC 54336