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  • ATO consultation arrangements report

    This report describes ATO consultation activities to 31 March 2019.

    This report is prepared monthly and shared with our stewardship groups.

    It contains:

    Statistics

    Consultation matters in progress

    Consultation matter(s) received March 2019

    [201907] BAS prefill research - Registered: March 2019; Expected completion: April 2019

    Purpose: To test the feasibility of a GST Simplified Accounting Method to support pre-filling of the BAS with third party data by better understanding the challenges faced by ride sourcing drivers in complying with their tax obligations.

    Consultation matters completed March 2019

    [201829] GST and financial institutions that issue credit cards

    Registered: December 2018; Completed: March 2019

    [201827] Replacing annual tax determinations with web content

    Registered: January 2019; Completed: March 2019

    New draft advice and guidance products open for consultation

    LODGE 2019/D1 - Draft Notice of Requirement to Lodge a Return for the Income Year Ended 30 June 2019

    LODGE 2019/D2 - Draft Notice of Requirement for Parents with a Child Support Assessment to Lodge a Return for the Income Year Ended 30 June 2019

    TD2019/D1 - Income tax: what is a 'restructuring' for the purposes of subsection 125-70(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997?

    TD2019/D2 - Income tax: what is a receiver's obligation to retain money for post-appointment tax liabilities under section 254 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936?

    TR2019/D1 - Income tax: income of international organisations and persons connected with them that is exempt from income tax

    Stewardship group news

    The GST Stewardship Group met on 19 March 2019 and the main topics of discussion included:

    • Client Engagement Group realignment
    • recently implemented ATO measures including GST at settlement and GST on low value imported goods (LVIG)
    • Treasury update including GST regulations, removing the GST on feminine hygiene productsExternal Link effective from 1 January 2019, and an update on the online hotel bookings legislation that it is currently on hold
    • ATO performance measures including an analysis on the number of cases that do not meet the service standard for timeliness for rulings, objections and audit cases
    • members from Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD presenting on current International trends in VAT and the implications for business.

    The Not-for-profit Stewardship Group held an out of session meeting on 21 March 2019 of its Superannuation Guarantee working group and representatives of the Superannuation business line. The meeting was held to clarify ATO advice regarding the treatment of annual leave loading for Superannuation Guarantee purposes and what this means for compliance in the NFP Sector. As a result of the meeting members of the working group were invited to provide input into updated advice being developed.

    The National Tax Liaison Group met on 4 March 2019 with key discussion points including:

    The Private Groups Stewardship Group met on 27 March 2019 and discussed:

    • realignment of the Client Engagement Group and what it means for the group
    • recent changes to the ATO view of the private groups population, and links with existing and proposed future income tax gap populations
    • upcoming consultation regarding the Reportable Tax Position schedule
    • the ATO’s Commercial deals program, with feedback sought regarding the program, including the experiences of the program so far
    • work undertaken by ATO communications team to improve the client experience, with feedback provided by members on various information sources and channels that they find beneficial/useful
    • Tax Governance Project and how members are able to provide their input and user perspective of the tools being used and developed.

    The Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group met on 1 March 2019 and the main topics of discussion were:

    • the tax agent assurance program of work including Tax Practitioner Board (TPB) compliance actions, the early intervention strategy and responsibilities of ATO, TPB and professional associations
    • Australian Business Register (ABR) and e-Invoicing
    • small business black economy initiatives
    • Activity Statement Financial Processing (ASFP) project
    • National Tax ClinicsExternal Link trial
    • superannuation updates
    • tax whistleblower legislation changes.

    Members met out of session on 20 March 2019 to discuss enhancements to the visibility of superannuation information to individuals and their tax practitioners in ATO Online. The functionality associated with these system changes have been part of the private beta testing (ATO online services for agents) with tax practitioners. The session provided an opportunity to highlight the system changes and the changing client experience the ATO is pursuing, and to seek clarification and discuss potential opportunities.

    The Small Business Stewardship Group met on 6 March 2019 and discussed:

    • the small business landscape with Commissioner Chris Jordan and Second Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn reinforcing the importance of the group to help improve the small business experience
    • status of new legislative measures including instant asset write-off (IAWO) extension and expansion, and superannuation guarantee integrity measures. The uncertainty created by the non-passage of the instant asset write-off legislation was noted.
    • status of a range of Government and agency small business initiatives including:  
    • e-invoicing update including government policy announcements, international initiatives and the benefits and challenges for small business
    • The extension of Single Touch Payroll (STP) to all business from 1 July 2019 and the ATO’s transitional approach to helping small and micro employers become STP enabled, including deferrals and exemptions.

    The Large Business Stewardship Group met on 29 March 2019 and discussed the following topics:

    • recent developments in large business tax policy
    • Client Engagement Group realignment
    • Corporate Tax Association relationship survey
    • compliance risks and emerging issues
    • reportable tax position schedule
    • justified trust and corporate governance
    • recent developments at the Board of Taxation
    • private ruling program
    • ATO data strategy.

    Short-term groups

    The 2018-19 Federal Budget -Super Measures Group met on 4 March 2019 with members:

    • informed about the status of legislation and amendments made to the Protecting your Superannuation PackageExternal Link
    • given an opportunity to
    • raise scenarios that they would like to work through at a co-design workshop on 20 March 2019
    • ask questions about the SMSF verification service and SMSF member tick documentation and Business Implementation Guide
    • informed about the outcomes of the ATO Online (visibility of super information) pre-deployment readiness workshop held on 22 February 2019.

    A Protecting Your Superannuation Package workshop was held on 20 March 2019 with members:

    • informed about the timeline and roadmap for the package
    • having the opportunity to participate in discussions and raise questions and concerns about the package
    • able to work through scenarios and provide their perspectives and input
    • committing to continue to keep up to date an issues log and general questions register that was created and shared with members.

    The 2018 Federal Budget - Consultation (Broader Group)External Link (providing updates to the wider superannuation industry) met on 25 March 2019 with members:

    • informed of the outcome from the feedback about the business requirement to retain the unique request identifier in the validation services
    • having the opportunity to ask questions in relation to the Protecting Your Superannuation PackageExternal Link
    • informed about the outcomes of the Protecting Your Superannuation Package workshop held on 20 March 2019.

    The ATO Online (Visibility of Super Information) Pre-deployment Readiness Group communication working group (a limited life group) met on 1 and 22 March 2019 with members having the opportunity to discuss and provide input into the communication products being developed. The group conducted an industry wide walkthrough on 21 March 2019 where industry was informed about the ATO Online screens.

    The Superannuation Diagnostic Report for large APRA funds Group met on 27 March 2019 with members:

    • having the opportunity to provide their perspective about the indicative reporting model
    • advised they will have the opportunity to provide input into the indicative measures from each dimension in future workshops.

    The STP Advisory Group (STPAG)External Link met on 21 March 2019 with members:

    • informed about the progress of employers taking up STP reporting and the ATO’s latest communication activities
    • having the opportunity to participate in discussions and raise questions about the recent change in legislation moving to extend STP to all employers
    • informed about the data analysis being undertaken on the forms being lodged through the new employee commencement service
    • having the opportunity to share insights on how the industry is adapting to STP.

    The STP Readiness Working Group (RWG)External Link met on 21 March 2019 with members:

    • informed about the Bill extending STP to small and micro businesses receiving Royal Assent on the 1 March 2019
    • having the opportunity to participate in discussions and raise questions and concerns about small employers transitioning to STP reporting
    • able to work through scenarios and provide their perspectives and input on closely held businesses
    • having the opportunity to discuss concerns on the low cost to no cost solutions
    • updated on the recent deployment of the online deferral and exemption form and display of superannuation payments in ATO online
    • having the opportunity to provide feedback on Tax Time 2019 communication plan and end of financial year reporting changes
    • shared concerns on clarity for the market about what myGov is going to do and how information might work, and were provided a commitment to monitor the issue
    • informed of the status and progress of identified technical issues.

    The Single Touch Payroll PAYGW and Activity Statement Micro group participated in a workshop on 4 March 2019 with members:

    • reviewing and working through end-to-end scenarios for the employers experience when they lodge and don’t lodge activity statements using an ATO online prototype
    • providing their perspectives and input on aspects of the design including prefill, validation and user adjustments to labels and STP prefill amounts.

    The STP Employee Commencement Focus Group met on 22 March 2019 with members:

    • updated on the progress of the Large Employer EOI and the Soft Launch EOI
    • having the opportunity to provide feedback on the Employee Commencement services, including the screens
    • wanting to see any communications the ATO would deliver in relation to Employee Commencement, with commitment to seek advice from the Focus Group and Readiness Working Group on these communication pieces
    • having the opportunity to provide feedback on ATO reporting on the usage of the TFN declaration and Super Choice forms.

    The STP Shadow Payroll Focus Group participated in a workshop on 25 March 2019 with members:

    • consulted about the ATO's position on the treatment of shadow payroll employees for STP
    • having the opportunity to participate in discussions and raise questions and concerns about shadow payroll concessions, PAYGW variations to nil and a range of other practices relating to shadow payroll
    • able to work through scenarios and provide their perspectives and input on current shadow payroll practices and potential solutions to bring shadow payroll employees closer to pay day reporting
    • having the opportunity to discuss and provide input into a draft position paper on shadow payroll the ATO is currently drafting with a commitment to be informed about the outcomes of the consultation.

    Other news

    The BAS Agent Association Group met on 27 March 2019 and key topics for discussion included:

    • an update on the use of external collection agencies for lodgment
    • Superannuation Guarantee Charge
    • future of the tax profession
    • ATO online services for agents public beta
    • myGov ID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM)
    • Single Touch Payroll
    • changes to deductions for non-compliant payments to workers.

    The Tax Time 2019 Shareable Content Working Group met on 29 March 2019 to review and provide feedback on three new occupation guides being developed for publishing as part of the Tax Time toolkit:

    • travel agents
    • security professionals
    • fitness and sport industry professionals
    • The group will continue to meet each month and review products as they are developed for Tax Time 2019.
    Last modified: 30 Apr 2019QC 43732