• ATO community and micro perceptions survey 2013

    During 2012-13, we commissioned the final quarterly Community and Micro Perception Satisfaction survey (originating in 2000). The survey measures insight into individual and micro businesses’ perceptions of the tax system; our performance and gauges key social norms of paying tax. There is a single survey because there is a high level of congruence between the individual taxpayer and micro business populations.

    Future research will be undertaken through a single perception survey giving deeper, comparable insights from across a broader range of Australian community segments

    Key insights from the annual trends and research findings



    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention
    • Overall, 73% of the community and 70% of micro-businesses agree that the ATO is doing a good
    • Taxpayers who directly lodge their returns are very satisfied with how easy it is to lodge (Community 94%; Micro businesses 88%) and with any online tools, products or services they might have used in doing so (both 89%). 83-84% are satisfied with their last notice of assessment.
    • There are some concerns about how the ATO administers the law and works with the community. Both community and micro businesses are only moderately positive about the ATO’s style of working with the community, especially in terms of acting on community suggestions. A large minority across both groups believe the ATO is not concerned about service. In both groups, half believe the ATO has too much power. These views have also changed little since September 2009.
    • The majority of micro businesses feel meeting their business tax obligations is not “easy”, but four in five say they are coping well.
    • Among micro businesses with personal responsibility for managing HR or payroll, confidence in administering taxation obligations ranged from 88% confident for PAYGW to 53% confident for Parental Leave Pay.
    • For members of the community and micro businesses who had a service episode, there was moderate satisfaction with the broad service provided by the ATO. There has been little discernible change, over time, in service satisfaction. Where there is perceived change, however, this tends to be in a positive direction.

    How the research has been used

    Findings from the 2013 community and micro perceptions survey are used to support the work we are doing to engage and assist the community and businesses in meeting their tax and super obligations by improving our services and administration. Some of the key initiatives influenced by the survey results include:

    • exploring opportunities and developing applications for smart devices. This has led to:
      • the release of a digital magazine “Taxtime” which includes video clips, top tips, easy to understand tax return instructions and links to tools and calculators
      • the release of the ATO app, which provides individuals and small businesses with useful tools links, and videos
    • enabling individual taxpayers to check the progress of their tax return online
    • reducing wait times and improving the overall quality of our call centre service
    • enhancing the Small Business Assistance Program including the development of Small Business Assist, the ability to book after hours calls and improvements to webinars and online tools
    • enhancing the usability of our website, including changes to the language we use to improve ease of understanding
    • increasing our use of electronic communication such as email, SMS and social media to keep taxpayers informed and aware of key messages
    • providing insights which combined with intelligence and performance results are used to review current and future services and strategies. This has resulted in the development of new initiatives to collaborate more closely with small business and includes the establishment of a small business panel and a cross agency Fix It Squad to reduce red tape
    • informing the ATO Commissioners’ statement 2013-14, particularly our priority to ensuring our services and communications match contemporary practices of business and government.

    More information

    Contact the Corporate Research Centre

      Last modified: 06 Mar 2015QC 39003