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  • ATO corporate plan 2020–21

    Commissioner’s foreword

    'Our efforts in 2020 have demonstrated to Australians first-hand how a leading tax and super administration contributes to their economic wellbeing.'

    For most Australians, 2020 will be remembered as the year that started with the bushfires and then saw the emergence of COVID-19.

    For the ATO, the year marks a pivotal point in our journey of reinvention. It will also be remembered as the time we came to play a leading role in providing support to the Australian community when they needed it most.

    Rather than distracting from our reinvention journey, our ability to respond has highlighted the importance of our ongoing commitment to transformation and our aspirations for 2024. The ATO corporate plan 2020–21 renews that commitment and outlines how we’ll continue to contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians in the year ahead.

    The ATO’s efforts in 2020 have demonstrated to Australians first-hand how a leading tax and super administration contributes to their economic and social wellbeing. From the rollout of the historic JobKeeper program within just weeks of its announcement, to the tens of billions provided in economic support through cashflow boost and early release of super, our work has had a tangible, meaningful impact in the community.

    The ATO’s effective delivery of these large and complex measures is a testament to our strong sense of purpose and shared vision. We have seen an increase in community perceptions of trust and confidence over this period, which recognises our commitment to serving the public.

    The progress we made towards those goals was evident even before the emergence of COVID-19. We began the year facilitating increases to the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset, and delivered myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) for business. At the end of 2019, we successfully deployed a single client accounting system (ASFP) – one of the largest and most complex data conversions in Australian Public Service history, resulting in a whole-of-client account view.

    We continued to focus on improving the client experience, as we further enhanced Single Touch Payroll, expanded data-sharing arrangements, and provided support through payment extensions to thousands of people and businesses impacted by bushfires.

    Our achievements demonstrate the strength of our people, our culture, our expertise and our leadership. These attributes will remain vitally important in the year ahead, as the community and government continue to look to us to play a crucial role in the national recovery. This corporate plan will further embed these attributes into the way we work and move us closer to our aspirations for 2024.

    This ATO corporate plan has a sharper focus on eight strategic initiatives as our priority areas for 2020–21. We will continue to deliver on core functions – such as Tax Time 2020, the Black Economy Program, and the Tax Avoidance and Serious Financial Crime taskforces – and strengthen superannuation systems and services, while delivering significant outcomes across these eight strategic initiatives.

    We’ll continue to prioritise administration of the government’s stimulus measures, so we can provide Australians with the support they need right now. On the back of COVID-19, we will look at new ways of working for our staff to ensure we have a safe and effective work environment. Meeting our clients’ needs is also the motivation behind initiatives such as supporting small business tax performance, our drive to optimise client interactions, and a focus on establishing the Commonwealth Business Registry.

    We’ll continue to pursue our aspiration of becoming more streamlined and integrated, with our initiatives in the digital space – including strengthening cybersecurity and unlocking our data potential – to improve the way we collect, manage and share our data. Finally, we will take the opportunity to focus on what matters most to ensure we deliver efficiently for the community.

    2020 has been a milestone year in more ways than one. Looking back, I am incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made not just this year but over the course of our reinvention, which enabled us to deliver for the community today. I look forward to seeing us build on this progress in 2020–21, continuing our journey towards 2024 and administering our country’s tax and superannuation systems for the benefit of all Australians.

    Playing a leading role in the pandemic response and recovery

    When the extent of the economic impact of COVID-19 became clear, the Australian Government announced a number of stimulus measures to support the community.

    The government entrusted some of the most vital of these measures to the ATO.

    The ATO is responsible for administering the following stimulus measures in a way that meets community expectations and ensures fairness in the tax and superannuation systems:

    • JobKeeper Payment
    • Temporary early release of superannuation
    • Boosting cashflow for employers
    • Enhancing the instant asset write-off
    • Backing business investment.

    This is in addition to the support the ATO can provide to those going through financial hardship. The ATO provides clients and their representatives with:

    • advice and guidance to help navigate entitlements and obligations
    • timely access to tailored support options, including quicker access to refunds and possible deferral of some lodgments and payments
    • options to enter into low interest payment plans for existing or future tax debts.

    We stand ready to support Australia’s economic recovery and to serve our clients through these difficult times, with empathy and pragmatism.

    Chris Jordan
    Commissioner of Taxation and
    Registrar of the Australian Business Register

    This ATO corporate plan 2020–21 has been prepared as required under paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. It covers the period 2020–21 to 2023–24 and includes the plan of the Australian Business Register (ABR).Due to their operational independence, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) have produced their own corporate plans.
      Last modified: 18 Aug 2020QC 63382