Individual Taxpayer Advisory Group agendas, minutes and related papers are not binding on the ATO or any of the other bodies referred to in these papers. While every effort is made to accurately record the views expressed, the wording necessarily represents a summary of statements of general position only, and care should be taken in interpreting those statements. These papers reflect the position at the date of release (unless otherwise noted) and readers should note that the position on any issue may subsequently change.
1. Welcome and introductions
Lainie Alexander introduced herself as the facilitator for the meeting, welcoming everyone to the meeting, and also introducing the Chair of the forum, Elaine Anthony and other ATO standing representatives.
Elaine also welcomed members. She noted there was a full agenda for the meeting and provided a brief overview of the topics to be discussed.
Endorsement of the minutes of the March 2013 meeting
The Chair sought members’ endorsement of the minutes of the prior meeting.
As there was no feedback when these were distributed to members and no further feedback was provided at the meeting, the minutes were endorsed without change.
Update on open action items
There were two open action items from the last meeting. The ATO provided the following updates.
Action Item ITAF 2013/03-01
ATO to provide members with guidelines/information about government advertising and the media
As an agency subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, the ATO is required to place all advertising through the Central Advertising System (CAS), which is operated through the Department of Finance and Deregulation (DoFD).
- This means the ATO is not permitted to book or place advertisements directly with media outlets.
- Under the CAS, DoFD manages the contract of two master media agencies (one dedicated to campaign advertising and one to non-campaign advertising) that assist government agencies in advertising planning, placement and rates negotiations with media outlets.
The process for deciding which media channels and outlets the ATO advertises with for each campaign, event or topic/issue is as follows:
- the ATO drafts a brief for the master media agency outlining the advertising objectives, target audience/s, required timing and available budget
- the master media agency develops a media strategy response and plan after considering issues such as the current media landscape and reviewing the latest research on media consumption and usage habits for the target audience and topic area
- the ATO reviews the master media agency’s response in light of our business intelligence and objectives and negotiates any changes considered necessary.
The campaign master media agency has confirmed that all media is considered at the time of planning and that their assessment is made based on the campaign objectives, the most efficient use of budget for achieving objectives, availability of media, and timing.
- While the ATO’s response was considered to be comprehensive, there was feedback that master agencies have a privileged position, and there were concerns that small community associations are ‘not on their radar’.
The ATO commented that the final decision rests with the ATO, and is based on the available budget, the required reach and the master agency’s understanding of the reach and audience. The ATO added that sometimes the lead times involved in using print media make it less feasible than other channels such as social media, and sometimes particular channels are more effective than others, for example, using social media to reach young people about superannuation.
Action Item ITAF 2013/03-02
ATO to provide information about taxation and visas
Generally, an individual is an ‘Australian Resident’ for tax purposes if they live in Australia. Residency for tax purposes is a different concept, and not necessarily linked to any visa type, permanent residency, citizenship or nationality.
It is possible for an individual to be a non-resident of Australia with respect to accessing certain government payments and services and at the same time be an Australian resident for tax purposes.
For example the Medicare enrolment form describes a resident individual as one where:
- permanent residency visa with permission to work in Australia has been granted, or
- the applicant’s parent, spouse or child is an Australian.
For refugees and humanitarian entrants, it is unlikely they will meet the conditions above upon arrival in Australia. However, they will generally be considered Australian residents for tax purposes from the time they arrive in Australia. This is because they have an intention to live and remain living in Australia.
General information about residency is available on our website at www.ato.gov.au/residency.