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  • Individual Stewardship Group minutes 11 July 2017

    Meeting details

    Venue: ATO National Office, Canberra

    Date: 11 July 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.

    • Lyndall Millburn from CARE Financial Counselling Service representing Financial Counselling Australia.
    • David Ebdon representing Tax and Super Australia, replacing Letty Chen.
    • Parween Jaghuri representing Adult Multicultural Education Services, replacing Hameed Nida.

    2. Tax Time 2017

    Kath Anderson provided an update on Tax Time 2017 highlighting the key enhancements made to our online services and tools including web-chat and co-browsing, legislative and cyclical updates, the introduction of a ‘push refund’ for self-preparers that only need to lodge for a refund of franking credits, as well as support services for taxpayers who need help lodging their return.

    Our communication strategy centres on three themes:

    • lodge accurately and on time
    • choice in how to lodge, and
    • community confidence

    3. Educating Tomorrow's Taxpayer Today - Youth

    Vic Mazzone provided an overview of the Schools Education Program which aims to help young people understand and value the tax and superannuation systems so that they can actively participate in these later in life. The program includes:

    • presentations to schools through visits, webinars and attendance at school-related expos/conferences
    • customised learning resources for Years 7 and 10, now mapped to the Australian National Curriculum - https://www.taxsuperandyou.gov.au/External Link
    • competitions with one running at the moment asking students to provide their ideas about how they would encourage their family and friends to value tax and/or super in the community.

    Work is underway to map tax and superannuation to State and Territory curricula as well as developing resources for primary schools.

    Members noted the importance of this work, that linking these concepts to existing syllabuses for maths and humanities is important given a ‘crowded’ curriculum that teachers need to teach, as well as the value of connecting, not only to government agencies, but private organisations (key influencer groups) and different types of schools including public, private, independent, religious and home-school parents.

    4. Individuals experience vision

    Karmin van Groesen and Peter Goodman led a discussion on a proposed vision statement for the future Individuals experience. Noting that the vision statement elements could equally apply across other client experiences, members were asked to provide their thoughts about what the tax and superannuation systems may look like in 10 years from now.

    Feedback included that technology and online services are well accepted by the community, the value that tax agents provide to an individual, the sustainability of ATO services particularly where there are comparable services available in the market and that it should be inclusive of all individuals, particularly those most vulnerable in the community.

    Further work will be done on the vision statement, to be brought back for discussion at the next meeting.

    5. Client experience perception measures

    Clifton Bingham and Melinda Stinziani provided an overview of work underway to develop a set of client experience measures that will provide us with insights about clients’ perceptions about us and identify areas for improvements. This includes development of questions that are relevant to each client group on their most recent interaction with us.

    The measures are to be in place by 1 July 2018 with a pilot to be conducted prior to Christmas.

    6. Single Touch Payroll (STP)

    John Shepherd sought feedback from members on the current design for the online employee commencement form proposed for STP.

    STP will be mandated from 1 July 2018 for employers with more than 20 employees. A pilot with a small group is currently underway, with the first payday report received earlier this month.

    John noted that members can register their interest in ongoing consultation on STP through ‘Let’s talk’ on our website - http://lets-talk.ato.gov.au/STPConsultExternal Link

    7. Superannuation reform changes

    Jason Lucchese and Helen Morgan provided an update on the superannuation changes that commenced on 1 July 2017. Focus has been on developing advice and guidance material, including fact sheets and sending correspondence to affected individuals.

    Information about the changes, including the frequently asked questions was recently updated on our website.

    8. Intelligence sharing

    Bede Fraser noted that consultation will start on the Housing Affordability measures announced in the Federal Budget. The Government had announced it would disallow travel expense deductions relating to residential investment properties and limit depreciation deductions for plant and equipment used in relation to residential investment properties. Public consultationExternal Link on the exposure draft legislation and explanatory material closes on Thursday, 10 August 2017.

    The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics External Link released a report External Linkon its inquiry into Tax Deductibility recently.

    9. Future discussions

    Future agenda topics included an overview of the webchat and co-browsing services, the ATO’s IT security processes particularly for scams and the ATO’s administration of HELP debts.

    The Chair will write to members seeking their thoughts about co-chair arrangements for the ISG.

    10. Wrap up

    The next meeting is scheduled for 25 October 2017.

    For further information please contact Individuals Stewardship Group

      Last modified: 01 Aug 2017QC 53015