• NTLG minutes, September 2013

    Meeting details

    Venue

    McKay Board Room, Level 10

    Amungula Building, 26 Narellan Street, Canberra

    Date

    19 September 2013

    Start

    9.30am

    Finish

    1.00pm

    Chair

    Chris Jordan

    Secretariat

    Kylie Bell

    Deepti Paton

    Contact Phone

    07 314 95712

    02 8223 0044

    Attendees

    Chris Jordan (Chair)

    ATO

    Bruce Quigley

    ATO

    Neil Olesen

    ATO

    Jonathan Woodger

    ATO

    Andrew England

    ATO

    Michael Monaghan

    ATO

    Nicola Black

    ATO

    Rob Heferen

    Treasury

    Gerry Antioch

    Treasury

    Roger Brake

    Treasury

    Bob Duncan

    Association of Taxation and Management Accountants

    Mark Morris

    CPA Australia

    Greg Nielsen

    CPA Australia

    Gordon Thring

    CPA Australia

    Frank Drenth

    Corporate Tax Association

    Michelle de Niese

    Corporate Tax Association

    Michael Croker

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

    Andrew White

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

    Grant Wardell-Johnson

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

    Lance Cunningham

    Institute of Public Accountants

    Tony Greco

    Institute of Public Accountants

    Mark Friezer

    Law Council of Australia

    Adrian Varrasso

    Law Council of Australia

    Andrew Gardiner

    National Tax and Accountants Association

    Andrea Slattery

    SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia Limited

    Steve Westaway

    The Tax Institute

    Michael Flynn

    The Tax Institute

    Robert Jeremenko

    The Tax Institute

    Apologies

    Cameron Sorensen

    ATO

    Robert Olding

    ATO

    Andrew O'Bryan

    CPA Australia

    Tony Stolarek

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

    Steve Cane

    National Tax and Accountants Association

    Guest presenters

    Jason Lucchese

    ATO

    Jonathan Woodger

    ATO

    Shane Reardon

    ATO

    Paul Korganow

    ATO

    Roger Brake

    Treasury

    Secretariat

    Kylie Bell

    ATO

    Deepti Paton

    The Tax Institute

    Agenda items

    Disclaimer

    NTLG agendas, minutes and related papers are not binding on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or any of the other bodies referred to in these papers. While every effort is made to accurately record 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. These minutes have been formally endorsed by the members.

    Forward Program

    Potential agenda items or focus areas for discussion at future National Tax Liaison Group (NTLG) meetings are listed below.

    The following items are proposed as strategic discussions for the forward agenda:

    • Item 1: Capacity to provide guidance on measures announced but where the law is not yet enacted, and the scope of the Commissioner's general power of administration to deal with problems where legislation is not working as intended
    • Item 2: ATO approach to settlements

    2013 Meeting Schedule

    The meeting schedule for 2013 is as follows:

    • Friday 22 March 2013, Sydney
    • Thursday 13 June 2013, Canberra
    • Thursday 19 September 2013, Canberra
    • Thursday 12 December 2013, Brisbane

    Meetings will commence at 9:30am and will finish at approximately 1:30pm (AEDT).

    1.Open meeting

    The meeting commenced at 9:30am.

    Deputy Commissioner Michael Monaghan, Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy opened the meeting and welcomed all members and participants.

    Welcome new members

    • Michael Croker, Head of Tax Policy, representing the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
    • Adrian Varrasso, Deputy Chair, representing the Law Council of Australia

    Members stepping down

    • Roger Timms, Head of Tax and Superannuation, representing Taxpayers Australia.
      • Taxpayers Australia will advise a replacement representative in due course.
       
    • Deepti Paton, Tax Counsel, representing the Tax Institute.
      • Deepti Paton’s role on the NTLG was as the NTLG Professional Association Bodies agenda submissions administrator. The ATO and the Professional Association Bodies appreciate the cohesive responsibility Deepti Paton has brought to this role.
      • Stephanie Caredes, representing the Tax Institute will take over this role in going forward.
       
    • Bruce Quigley, Second Commissioner, Compliance group.

    Members stepping down were acknowledged and thanked for their significant contributions to this forum. Special mention was made to Second Commissioner Quigley as he enters retirement at the end of 2013 after working with the ATO for over 41 years. Second Commissioner Quigley first joined the NTLG in March 2007 and has made significant contributions across the organisation with stewardship of the tax system and its strategic direction.

    Apologies

    • Tony Stolarek, Partner Ernst & Young, Institute of Chartered Accountants.
    • Steve Cane, General Manager, National Tax and Accountants Association.
    • Andrew O’Bryan, Partner Hall & Wilcox, CPA Australia.

    Guest attendees – Professional Association Bodies represented

    • Andrew White, representing the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia.
      (on behalf of member Tony Stolarek).
    • Andrew Gardiner, representing the National Tax and Accountants Association.
      (on behalf of member Steve Cane).
    • Gordon Thring, representing CPA Australia.
      (on behalf of Andrew O’Bryan).

    ATO and Treasury guest discussion leaders

    • Jason Lucchese, Assistant Commissioner, ATO Corporate (Agenda item 3)
    • Roger Brake, General Manager Tax Analysis Division, Treasury (agenda item 4)
    • Jonathan Woodger, Deputy Chief Tax Counsel, Tax Counsel Network (agenda item 4)
    • Shane Reardon, Deputy Commissioner, Public Groups and International (Agenda item 4)
    • Paul Korganow, Assistant Commissioner, Public Groups and International (Agenda item 4)

    Action items

    Record of action items

    Two new action items were developed as part of the day’s meeting discussion.

    No. 1

    Action item No. #

    NTLG1309/01

    Agenda item

    NTLG meeting – 19 September 2013

    Refer agenda item 4

    Agenda topic

    Strategic direction – tax policy and administration

    • Private sector input into ATO data collection, analysis and Treasury costings

    Action item

    The ATO, Treasury and the Professional Association Bodies will collectively work to progress this matter.

    Responsibility

    ATO and Treasury

    Background

    Treasury discussed with members opportunities to consult on costings issues.

    The Professional Association Bodies view this form of consultation as an opportunity to better understand linkages in the market for example section 25-90 or where trust abuse may be occurring.

    A better understanding of these figures will assist with identifying more clearly what the underpinning mischief is.

    No. 2

    Action item No. #

    NTLG1309/02

    Agenda item

    NTLG meeting – 19 September 2013

    Refer agenda item 4

    Agenda topic

    Strategic direction – tax policy and administration

    • Administration of new Transfer Pricing legislation
      • Administrative concessions and safe harbours
       

    Action item

    The Professional Association Bodies seek clarity with guidance in the interim on administrative concessions and safe harbours under the new law.

    Feedback is welcomed through to mailbox: ntlg@ato.gov.au by 25 October 2013.

    Responsibility

    Professional Association Bodies

    Background

    The ATO discussed with members administrative concessions and safe harbours, in particular:

    • Taxation Ruling 1999/1
    • Small and medium enterprise taxpayers

    Action item register

    There are no other outstanding action items on the register.

    2.Commissioner’s opening remarks

    Commissioner Chris Jordan spoke about developments in the ATO since June (last NTLG meeting). In particular, the Commissioner explained the outcomes of the APSC Independent Capability Review and feedback the ATO received from that process, including the need for:

    • stronger, more unified top down leadership
    • longer term directions and accompanying business strategies
    • alignment of resource allocation, workforce planning and IT capability to strategic plans
    • streamlined but effective governance
    • better connection with community

    The Commissioner talked about the burning platform for change including:

    • While the ATO continues with its core functions, the way we go about these functions will change. The ATO is re-inventing itself with a new attitude, new products and services, a drive for productivity improvements and an openness and willingness to change.
    • In addition to collecting the revenue, the ATO will support the incoming government’s statement that Australia is “open for business” by:
      • improving our connectedness with, and understanding of, the community
      • reducing red tape and the cost of compliance
      • providing more timely advice, improving communication, products and services
      • showing impartiality and consistent decision making
      • helping create a level playing field domestically and internationally
      • improving our skills and knowledge – to better match industry standards and professional private practice.
       

    Further to the 2013-14 Statement, the Commissioners have developed a draft vision mission statement for 2020. This top down strategic planning approach is still under development but the Commissioners are working towards having a well articulated 2020 statement and strategic plan by the end of this calendar year. The overarching theme is around improving the tax and super experience.

    Our mission is

    We contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians by fostering willing participation in the taxation and superannuation systems.

    Our vision is

    We are a leading tax and super administration known for our contemporary service, expertise and integrity.

    Our values will be the ICARE APS values:

    Impartial

    Committed to service

    Accountable

    Respectful

    Ethical

    The Commissioner explained he was in the process of sharing this draft with key stakeholders to get feedback and ideas. NTLG members were encouraged to provide their thoughts.

    While supporting business strategies are yet to be developed, the directions for 2020 are primarily about administering the tax and super systems based on trust and transparency, with a lighter touch for those taxpayers with simple, low risk affairs.

    Within one year, the Commissioner said the ATO could reduce annual tax return efforts for as many as 1.5 million individual, self-preparer taxpayers with simple and low-risk tax affairs. It could be a few easy steps: review pre-filled data pushed from the ATO, answer a few simple questions about deductions, confirm and respond.

    The Commissioner acknowledged the important role of the NTLG in the future of the ATO. He undertook to consult in good faith, knowing that members of the group appreciate the stewardship role of the forum and understand that the concepts discussed are sometimes still in development phase. The Commissioner said people must be able to speak openly and frankly in a trusted environment.

    3.Working together

    Renewed consultative arrangements - stewardship of the tax and superannuation systems

    The purpose of this item was to discuss implementation of the ATO’s renewed consultation framework.

    Deputy Commissioner Michael Monaghan, Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy and Assistant Commissioner Jason Lucchese, ATO Corporate led this discussion and advised members:

    • The renewed consultative arrangements were first discussed with the NTLG on 13 June 2013.
    • Since that meeting, there has been significant engagement and consultation with the Professional Association Bodies in helping to shape the new consultation framework.
    • The ATO remains focused on improving the ATO’s consultative arrangements, not reducing consultation.

    Since 1 July 2013, when the ATO officially introduced the new arrangements for consultation, at 20 September 2013:

    • Forty one former forums and sub-groups have closed
    • Eight stewardship committees have been established
      • Liaison Groups
      • National Tax Liaison Group
      • Individual Taxpayers Liaison Group
      • Large Business Liaison Group
      • Small Business Liaison Group
      • Advisory Groups
      • ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group
      • Not for Profit Advisory Group
      • GST Advisory Group
      • Superannuation Industry Advisory Group
       
    • Eight limited life technical and special purpose working groups currently exist:
      • ATO Super Industry Marketing Group
      • Employer Reform Reference Group
      • Corporations Law Working Party
      • Promoter Penalties Sub committee
      • Resource Rent Tax Sub-committee
      • Trust Reform, Integrity and Compliance Group
      • Funds Reform Reference Group
      • Superstream Technical Architecture Reference Group
       
    • Thirteen stakeholder relationship and management groups currently exist:
      • Alcohol Stakeholder Group
      • ATO Insolvency Practitioner Association Group
      • Business Activity Statement (BAS) Agent Advisory Group
      • Building and Construction Industry Group
      • Fuel Stakeholder Group
      • Minerals Council of Australia Group
      • Non English Speaking Background Group
      • Small and Medium Enterprises Taxpayers Online
      • Superannuation Administration Stakeholders Group
      • Taxation Statistics Advisory Group
      • Tobacco Stakeholder Group
      • Petroleum Stakeholder Group
      • Legal Practitioners
       

    There are a range of ways in which we will consult in the future that are more flexible, dynamic and timely.

    An ATO consultation protocol has been established to cover all consultation in the ATO. Each of the stewardship committees will have an addendum specific to their purpose.

    The consultation webpage was launched on 2 September 2013 and provides information on:

    • ATO consultation framework
    • How to raise a matter for consultation
    • Matters under consultation
    • Register to take part in consultation

    The Tax Institute noted the good progress made with the review of the consultative arrangements.

    A Consultation Advisory Group, consisting of two senior ATO representatives, tax profession associations and industry bodies will meet regularly to ensure the ATO’s consultation processes are operating effectively and aligned with the guiding principles.

    The first meeting is expected to be in early November 2013.

    The post implementation review will be completed by March 2014.

    POST MEETING UPDATE

    On 30 September 2013 members were issued with a communiqué from the ATO Consultation Hub. Members were provided with information about:

    • A new way of consulting – the new ATO model for consultation
    • How the ATO consultation works – consultation arrangements operating on three levels
      • Stewardship committees discuss high level, significant matters where the outcomes are considered to be in the national interest. They discuss the strategic direction of the tax and superannuation systems – specifically, opportunities for improvements to their administration – and support key relationships that reflect the broader community.
      • Stakeholder relationship and management engagements develop and maintain key relationships with representative organisations across business and industry, and key intermediaries.
      • Technical and special purpose consultations vary in duration and method, and may include tele and video conferences, and written submissions. The complexity of the matter will guide business areas to determine the best method for consultation.
      • Other forms of consultation
       
    • How the ATO’s consultations are supported, including the role of the Consultation Hub
    • The ATO’s Consultation Protocol and Key principles

    The new Consultative Advisory Group is expected to hold its first meeting in early November 2013.

    4.Strategic direction – tax policy and administration

    The purpose of this item was to discuss a range of strategic matters, including:

    • Treasury briefing, including a discussion about private sector input into ATO data collection, analysis and Treasury costings
    • Administration of new Transfer Pricing legislation
    • Recent technical consultations
    • Independent Review
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Treasury briefing

    General Manager Roger Brake Tax Analysis Division, Treasury advised members:

    • Treasury Ministers sworn in 18 September 2013.
    • There is a great amount of effort going into prioritising the work. Review of the Carbon Tax and Mining Tax measures are priority number one.
    • Deregulation agenda is important to the Government and a new unit will be set up in Treasury.
    • Measures announced but the law is not enacted:
      • Around100 measures not yet enacted
      • Measures which are to proceed will need new policy authority
      • Treasury will provide the Government with information on all the unenacted measures to enable the Government to determine whether they should proceed, and on appropriate consultation arrangements.
       
    • Members discussed the opportunities arising from the Government’s commitment to a white paper on tax reform
      • There is a lot of goodwill in the community to work together on this.
      • Opportunity to gather community input into Tax Reform agenda.
       

    Emerging law design (Additional note)

    Prior to this meeting, the Professional Bodies requested updates on a range of emerging law design topics. The Treasury was only able to talk in relatively general terms on this topic as the incoming Government’s position on most of the issues raised was not yet known.

    Private sector input into ATO data collection, analysis and Treasury costings

    Treasury further discussed with members the opportunities to consult on costings issues. Members were advised that on some issues Treasury will require approval to discuss where there are issues of secrecy and timelines.

    The Professional Association Bodies view this form of consultation as an opportunity to better understand linkages in the market for example section 25-90 or where trust abuse may be occurring. A better understanding of these figures will assist with identifying more clearly what the underpinning mischief is.

    The Treasury Charter for consultation on tax policy and law highlights the value of intelligence gathering from the community.

    The ATO, Treasury and the Professional Association Bodies will collectively work to progress this matter.

    Administration of new Transfer Pricing legislation

    Deputy Commissioner Shane Reardon and Assistant Commissioner Paul Korganow, Public Groups and International discussed with members, ATO analysing transfer pricing as part of profit shifting more generally.

    There is a major project underway to implement guidance, training, communication and build capability around the new transfer pricing legislation.

    Advance Pricing Arrangements

    • The Advance Pricing Arrangements (APA) program is open for business in order to provide taxpayers with practical certainty and to reduce compliance costs. However, not all taxpayers and transactions will be suitably dealt with under APAs because of their higher risk nature.
    • The ATO’s intent is to drive collaborative approaches on international taxation matters to ensure jurisdictions get their fair share of taxation. Whilst we will continue to promote and use APAs to help in gaining cooperative tax compliance, we will examine structures more closely for all tax risks (not just transfer pricing).
    • New approach should not affect APA timeframes or materially affect numbers of APAs proceeding but the ATO will be transparent in providing APA metrics and will communicate any change to the APA program as part of its profit shifting focus.
    • Division 815 Implementation Project
      • Major project underway to review, revise and/or rewrite existing ATO public advice on transfer pricing, as well as new advice in respect of Division 815.
      • Development of ATO staff capability and training packages.
      • Development and implementation of a communications strategy to assist internal and external stakeholders.
      • Rulings will not be as voluminous as in the past and practice statements are key deliverables.
      • Key priorities include Section 815-30, Penalties & Documentation
      • There are potentially 27 taxation rulings and 13 law practice statements being updated.
      • Project is sufficiently resourced and will be timely.
       

    * For Advance Pricing Arrangement figures refer to the Post meeting update.

    Administrative concessions and safe harbours

    • Currently under review
      • Taxation Ruling 1999/1
      • Only applies to Division 13 and not Division 815
      • Practical continuing application to new law (Division 815) to be discussed with Deputy Chief Tax Counsel Jonathan Woodger, Tax Counsel Network
      • Small and medium enterprise taxpayers
      • ATO is committed to exploring a range of administrative concessions and safe harbours
      • ATO will balance compliance, cost, certainty and revenue collection
       

    The Professional Association Bodies advised clarity in the interim with guidance is appreciated. The ATO welcomed feedback.

    ATO review and audit processes

    • The renewed active compliance program
      • Building new approaches into our audits and reviews
      • Identifying new and current cases
      • Review of APAs
      • Real-time products (e.g. pre lodgment compliance reviews)
      • Improved case selection
      • Case selection in the ATO involves projects focused on higher risk areas. For example, e-commerce companies are under closer scrutiny, as are some 170 companies that have undertaken international restructures. This work is supported by over $150 million in additional funds from the Government, and is expected to raise over $1 billion in the next four years.
      • Marketing hubs
      • Market support payments
      • Related party financing
      • Intangibles
      • Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Actions Items
       

    Recent technical consultation

    Deputy Chief Tax Counsel Jonathan Woodger, Tax Counsel Network informed members that there was a consultative workshop held 18 July 2013 on Part IVA amendments.

    • Purpose of the workshop was to assist the ATO understand where guidance may be warranted to aid taxpayers in applying the amendments of Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936).
    • Examples provided for the workshop were very useful.
    • The draft minutes have been designed to stand as a permanent record of the discussions that will also be useful to people who were not present at the discussion.
    • The minutes will be published in due course to the ATO website.

    Independent Review

    Second Commissioner Neil Olesen, Law Design and Practice Group shared with members that the first independent review case was recently completed. The case was complex which has allowed lessons to be learned and factored into future processes. Formal feedback from the taxpayer is due to be received shortly. Notwithstanding the complexities, the 12 week timeframe for the review was met.

    There are another four cases now being reviewed, which will provide a bigger pool of cases to draw some conclusions about how the process is working. It remains the ATO’s intention to do an evaluation when we have a solid body of experience, with a view to considering whether and how we could extend the group of taxpayers to whom independent review is offered.

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes

    Second Commissioner Neil Olesen advised members the ATO noted that alternative dispute resolution processes appeared to be continuing to gain traction, and at an earlier stage in the dispute process, with over a dozen complex cases on hand where a third party is being used to help navigate a resolution within the framework of the law.

    For less complex cases the ATO has conducted a pilot using its own in-house mediators, and is evaluating the benefits and options for a broader roll-out.

    The Professional Association Bodies agree that the ADR process in the top end of town is getting good exposure but there is more work still to be done on the smaller end of town.

    Action items

    No. 1

    Action item No. #

    NTLG1309/01

    Key discussion point

    Private sector input into ATO data collection, analysis and Treasury costings

    Consultation has the potential to better inform costings and decision-making, including by helping identify more clearly particular areas of concern.

    Action item

    The ATO, Treasury and the Professional Bodies will collectively work to progress this matter.

    Responsibility

    ATO and Treasury

    Post meeting update

    A teleconference will be scheduled shortly with the ATO, Treasury and the Tax Institute to discuss this matter in greater detail. This will be followed by a broader discussion with NTLG members.

    Status

    Closed

    This action item is addressed and will be removed from the action item register.

    No. 2

    Action item No. #

    NTLG1309/02

    Key discussion point

    Administration of new Transfer Pricing legislation

    • Administrative concessions and safe harbours

    Action item

    The Professional Association Bodies seek clarity with guidance in the interim on administrative concessions and safe harbours under the new law.

    Feedback is welcomed through to mailbox: ntlg@ato.gov.au by 25 October 2013.

    Responsibility

    Professional Association Bodies

    FORWARD PROGRAM

    Item 1

    Discussion focus

    Capacity to provide guidance on measures announced but where the law is not yet enacted, and the scope of the Commissioner's general power of administration to deal with problems where legislation is not working as intended

    Item 2

    Discussion focus

    ATO approach to settlements

    POST MEETING UPDATE

    ADVANCE PRICING ARRANGEMENT (APA)

    The APA figures were not available on the day of the NTLG discussion. The figures are now provided as part of the minutes as a post meeting update.

    QUESTIONS 2013/14 2012/13

    Number of APAs concluded

    6

    50

    Number of APAs accepted into the APA Program

    4

    45

    Number of cases not accepted into the APA Program

    3

    2

    Number of unfinalised APAs on hand

    66

    -

    RECENT TECHNICAL CONSULTATION

    Part IVA

    On 20 September 2013, members were provided with a copy of the Draft Part IVA 18 July 2013 workshop minutes and a copy of the examples of potential application of Part IVA considered by the NTLG member working group.

    Trusts

    Prior to this meeting, the Professional Association Bodies requested an update on Trusts. Information at the time of the meeting was not yet available.

    ATO Public Issues register

    Issues raised with ATO consultation groups prior to 1 July 2013 (including those listed on the Trust Sub-group Issues Register) will be included on the new ATO public issues register.

    The ATO is still developing the new register.

    Trust Task Force

    • The Trust Task Force was announced in the May 2013 budget. The taskforce will target promoters, individuals and businesses that seek to ‘misuse trusts in an attempt to avoid paying their fair share of tax’. These include ‘profit extraction schemes, concealment of income and mischaracterised transactions.’ 1
    • The taskforce is intended to target higher risk taxpayers and is not targeting ordinary trust arrangements and tax planning associated with genuine business or family dealings. The ATO recognise that most trusts are used appropriately and will continue to help and assist those who genuinely err or face uncertainty over the application of the law to their circumstances.
    • On 12 August 2013 Taxpayer Alert TA 2013/1 on trust income mismatch arrangements was released. This is one aspect of the work which the taskforce will focus on.
    • Prosecutions related to the work of the taskforce were listed for a mention in the NSW Supreme Court recently and adjourned for further mention in November.
    • You are urged to review the trust arrangements of your clients and approach the ATO if you have any concerns or wish to make a voluntary disclosure.
    • Refer to the trusts taskforce for more information.

    Trust reform

    Shortly after consultation took place on the announced integrity rule, the government went into caretaker mode. As a consequence the issue has not been progressed further. The incoming government has not indicated what approach it will take to the proposed trust taxation reforms.

    The ATO notes that the recent decision in Oswal v. FCT has elevated the importance of reform for the taxation of bare trusts.

    Very broadly the case involves the extent to which a beneficiary can be ‘absolutely entitled’ to a CGT asset set aside on a separate trust for its sole benefit, where the trustee had a statutory right of sale and a right to be indemnified out of trust assets in respect of any liabilities properly incurred as trustee (as all trustees have). The court said that due to either of these factors, no beneficiary could be ‘absolutely entitled’.

    5.Other business and matters of interest

    Deputy Commissioner Michael Monaghan, Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy advised the purpose of this item is to provide the opportunity to discuss and/or raise any other matters, including identifying topics for consideration at future meetings.

    The following matters were tabled:

    Item 1

    Topic

    Section 100A of the Income Tax Assessment Act (1936) (the ITAA (1936)

    Submitted by

    CPA Australia

    The issue

    There is a perceived lack of knowledge of the existence and operation of section 100A by both taxpayers and practitioners.

    Background

    On 2 September 2013 this matter was referred to the Consultation Hub for consideration. The matter will be addressed through the Trust Consultation Working Group.

    Status

    CPA Australia to provide examples through to the Secretariat of the Trust Consultation Working Group for consideration.

    Item 2

    Topic

    Compliance processes and practices in the area of disputes and dispute resolutions post 2011 Inspector General of Taxation report on Small to Medium Enterprise

    Submitted by

    CPA Australia

    The issue

    The Professional Association Bodies would like to discuss with the ATO:

    • The process of fraud and/or evasion:
      • There is a perception that fraud and/or evasion is being used to extend the period of review.
      • Members have conveyed a sense of increased frequency in the issuing of amended assessments beyond the four year review period based on fraud and evasion.
       
    • The process of position papers
      • There is a perception that there are entrenched views contained within the papers.
       
    • What the ATO is doing with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the Small and Medium sector
      • There is a perception of impediments to the effective rollout of the ADR process in this area.
       

    Background

    This matter was held over from the September 2013 meeting for the ATO to seek further information to clarify out-of-session with submission authors for specifics of the issues raised.

    This matter was broadly covered as part of the discussion under Agenda Item 4 during the discussion presented by Second Commissioner Neil Olesen on the Independent Review and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

    Status

    This matter has been placed onto the Forward Program and will be addressed under ATO approach to settlements.

    Item 3

    Topic

    Problems with the ATO website

    Submitted by

    Institute of Public Accountants

    The issue

    ATO website functionality - Difficulties facing practitioners with the new website

    • Printing and downloading documents
    • Searching the ATO Website
    • Broken links

    Background

    This matter was addressed at the ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group (ATPAG) on 6 September 2013.

    Post meeting status report

    On 27 September 2013 members were advised through the NTLG Key Messages communiqué that the ATO acknowledges some teething problems with the move to the new website. The ATO is listening and responding to feedback, and has dedicated resources to expedite the resolution of issues.

    The ATO will continue to work with the Professional Association Bodies to identify problems with the website and under the new consultation arrangements will set up a limited life working group to facilitate this.

    The ATO will communicate progress on known problems via the systems maintenance.

    The inaugural working group meeting was held on 2 October 2013. Membership includes key representatives from:

    • CPA Australia
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
    • Institute of Public Accountants
    • The Tax Institute

    6.Wrap up and close

    Deputy Commissioner Michael Monaghan, Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy:

    • Confirmed with members key messages from the meeting discussion.
    • Thanked members for their contributions during the meeting.
    • Confirmed the next meeting will be held on Thursday 12 December 2013 in Brisbane. Arrangements have been made for a tour of the ATO Co-Design Centre in Brisbane.

    Footnote

    1 Quote from Michael Cranston BRW 16 July 2013

      Last modified: 19 Nov 2013QC 37857