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  • Schedule C: Monitoring and review arrangements

    Schedule C of the GST Administration Performance Agreement deals with monitoring and review arrangements. It is designed to ensure appropriate alignment of ATO parliamentary reporting responsibilities and reporting responsibilities under the agreement. It also provides an opportunity for the ATO to report information on an ad hoc basis; for example, ATO community surveys.

    Governance arrangements within the ATO

    The Deputy Commissioner, Small Business as the GST Product Owner has overall responsibility for the administration of the GST product across the ATO.

    The ATO GST Product Committee (GSTPC) is the highest level of GST product governance via committee. It oversees the strategic direction, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the GST product across the ATO as set out in the Performance Agreement.

    The GSTPC is chaired by the Deputy Commissioner, Small Business, and its members include:

    • Deputy Commissioners from each business line involved in administering the GST product
    • Assistant Commissioner, GST Program, Small Business
    • Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Budget and Financial Reporting, ATO Finance.

    The GST Program branch provides leadership, governance and assurance to ensure the ATO delivers on the Performance Agreement. This includes a focus on the whole of GST product risk, strategy, capability and resource management.

    Reporting responsibilities

    To provide assurance to the Council on Federal Financial Relations that the ATO is achieving the agreed performance outcomes, the ATO reports to GSTAS (through GPAS) at least twice yearly, in the form of an annual and mid-year report. In addition, the ATO provides a brief quarterly overview for the September and March quarters.

    Compliance with finance law

    The ATO also reports on significant issues impacting administrative practices and the compliance with finance law.

    The ATO reported one such issue to the responsible Minister for 2020–21 concerning the implications of the decision of the High Court in Commissioner of Taxation v Travelex Limited [2021] HCA 8, which was handed down on 10 March 2021.

    The High Court’s decision means that the ATO’s historical practice of revising a taxpayer’s business activity statement (BAS) to amend net amounts (including GST, wine equalisation tax and luxury car tax) and net fuel amounts without issuing an assessment had no legal effect. The decision impacts all revisions of net amounts and net fuel amounts for tax periods between 1 July 2000 and 30 June 2012 where no assessment was issued.

    As a result of the High Court’s decision, such refunds paid between 1 July 2000 and 29 June 2012 were paid out of the consolidated revenue fund without an appropriation made by law. The underlying correctness of the amounts refunded is not in question. The issue is a technical one that, due to the ATO’s BAS revision practice, such amounts were refunded without the support of an assessment.

    The ATO has reviewed its BAS revision practice to ensure that taxpayers are only paid refunds following the revision of a net amount or net fuel amount where an assessment has been issued.

    The ATO has reported this issue in its financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2021.

    Audit arrangements

    The ATO has arranged for the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to conduct an annual special purpose audit of GST costs and the systems for control of GST costs. The ATO will provide a copy of the audit report to GSTAS (through GPAS).

    Client and community confidence

    Throughout 2020–21, our focus on building trust and community confidence has continued. Regular research has been conducted to measure the levels of confidence in the ATO felt by 2 groups:

    • the general community
    • clients who have recently interacted with us.

    The overall result for client and community confidence for 2020–21 was 68/100 (compared to 66/100 in 2019–20).

    The community confidence index was 67/100 in 2020–21 (compared to 66/100 in 2019–20), while the client confidence index stood at 69/100 in 2020–21 (compared to 66/100 in 2019–20). 

    Overall confidence in the ATO for 2020–21 was tracking above the target through all quarters. The confidence score peaked in Q1 2020–21 at 70/100 in line with the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflected the temporary stimulus measures being administered by the ATO and the way in which the ATO was providing support to the community.

    The confidence score in 2020–21 reflects the increased confidence in the ATO’s ability to deliver COVID-19 stimulus packages, as well as maintain the quality of the tax and superannuation systems.

    The overall confidence score of 68/100 in 2020–21 is the highest score achieved by the ATO and is above the target of 65/100.

    Note: To help interpret these results, a score of 50 indicates a neutral response, with higher results indicating a positive outcome and lower results representing fewer favourable views.

    Figure 14: Client and community confidence score (out of 100)

    This graph shows the level of client and community confidence in the ATO for the last 3 years.
2018–19 Overall confidence score 65%, Client confidence index 64%, Community confidence index 65%. 
2019–20 Overall confidence score 66%, Client confidence index 66%, Community confidence index 66%. 
2020–21 Overall confidence score 68%, Client confidence index 69%, Community confidence index 67%.

      Last modified: 07 Feb 2022QC 67817