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  • Individual Stewardship Group key messages 15 March 2017

    Meeting details

    Venue: ATO National Office, Canberra

    Date: 15 March 2017

    Chair: Alison Lendon

    Contact: email Individuals Stewardship Group

    1. Welcome and introductions

    Chair, Alison Lendon welcomed everyone, noting the new members to the Individuals Stewardship Group.

    • Emma Campbell replaces Erin Gillen as the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia – FECCA representative. Benjamin Smith attended on Emma’s behalf.
    • Ken Thomas representing Etax Accountants.
    • Jim Connolly representing Financial Counselling Australia has retired. Lyndall Millburn from CARE Financial Counselling Service will be the representative at future meetings.

    2. Second Commissioner insights

    Neil Olesen, Second Commissioner, talked about the activities the ATO has underway to improve the Individuals experience by providing better services to support willing participation in the tax and superannuation systems and to make it as easy as possible for taxpayers. Key areas discussed were the recent ATO system outages, balancing the community conversation, distilling myths and perceptions of fairness, our digital services offerings, the recent system outages and the valuable contribution our members make towards these improvements.

    3. Single Touch Payroll

    John Shepherd provided an update on Single Touch Payroll (STP) implementation which aims to leverage existing natural payroll cycles to fulfil reporting obligations. This means employers will report to the ATO salary or wages and pay as you go withholding amounts when they pay their employees as well as superannuation contributions for their employees when they are paid to the superannuation funds. Employers can start reporting through STP from 1 July 2017, with it being mandated from 1 July 2018 for employers with more than 20 employees.

    For employees this means that employers reporting under STP will no longer be required to provide payment summaries to individuals and they will be able to view their pay and super information online through their myGov account and see their year to data position. These changes are currently being tested with the community.

    4. ATO tax gap research program update

    Kent Perdrisat provided an overview of the ATO’s tax gap research program noting that gap estimates assist the ATO to identify trends in the tax and superannuation systems as well as informing our education and compliance strategies. Gap estimates are released when we are confident that they are reliable and credible. A panel of independent experts assist us with this.

    5. Superannuation reform changes

    Jason Lucchese and Dalila Vellotti provided an overview of the superannuation reform changes commencing on 1 July 2017 that affect individuals. Information about these changes has been published on our website.

    Opportunities to provide feedback on guidance material and also communicating information about the changes more broadly to the community were discussed with members and have been coordinated post the meeting.

    6. Tax Time 2017

    Kath Anderson confirmed that Tax Time 2017 is on track. Work is underway on the communication strategy and a range of assistance programs such as Tax Help, pop-ups at shopping centres, schools, migrant support networks and Services Australia's regional and remote program. We will continue to work with members to provide messages and assistance to the broader community in preparation for Tax Time.

    7. Intelligence sharing

    Members shared information on issues and trends, including the superannuation changes, working holiday maker arrangements, the financial literacy program and tax, super and you resource part of the Australian curriculum, resources for migrants in their native languages and support for vulnerable people.

    8. Wrap up

    The next meeting is scheduled for 11 July 2017.

    For further information please contact Individuals Stewardship Group

      Last modified: 16 Jan 2020QC 51871