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  • Individual Stewardship Group minutes 2 November 2016

    Meeting details

    Venue: ATO National Office, Canberra

    Date: 2 November 2016

    Chair: Alison Lendon

    Contact: email Individuals Stewardship Group

    1. Welcome and introductions

    Chair, Alison Lendon opened the meeting, welcoming members and guests and noted the agenda.

    2. Transition to ATO digital services

    Michelle Crosby provided an overview on the ATO’s digital services and the support available to assist individual taxpayers with their tax and super affairs into the future. This included digital support services such as Webchat and screen share and for those who are unable to move to the digital environment, support through community centres, organisations, pop-up kiosks etc.

    3. Single Touch Payroll

    John Shepherd led a discussion on Single Touch Payroll; a government initiative that aims to leverage off existing natural payroll cycles, to fulfil ‘employer’ reporting obligations to the ATO. Employers will continue to follow their normal business processes in completing their payroll, but will report salary/wages and PAYG withholding amounts to the ATO when they pay employees. Employee superannuation contributions will be reported to the ATO when the employer pays the super funds. Individuals will be able to view their withholdings and superannuation contributions via ATO online in real time.

    4. Activity statement financial processing

    Fran Southward and John Hurst provided an overview of the proposed Activity Statement Financial Processing systems release which will be incorporated into the annual system maintenance over the Christmas shutdown. Clients and Tax Practitioners will see some slight changes to portals.

    Secretariat note: A decision has been made by the ATO Executive post the Individuals Stewardship Group meeting, to postpone the proposed Activity Statement Financial Processing system release until further notice.

    5. Tax essentials

    Justin Micale provided an overview on the ATO’s approach to improve willing participation in the tax and super system with a spotlight on individuals. The ATO uses sophisticated tools to scrutinise every tax return to identify unusual, inaccurate and fraudulent claims, in particular attention is paid to income, refunds, rental income and work related expenses.

    6. Update on migrants component of shaping tomorrow’s taxpayers today

    Braden Powell provided an update on the consultation which was undertaken with migrants as part of the Shaping tomorrow’s taxpayers today initiative. The key concepts arising from the consultation that will be progressing include:

    • Support the supporters
    • Community champions and mentors
    • Congratulations product
    • Communicate with stories

    7. Intelligence sharing

    Graham Whyte led a discussion on scams, in particular iTunes and load and go scams. The ATO is working closely with community groups and large retailers to issue warnings to the community around scams.

    Further information on scams is available on or via the following link: Verify or report a scam | Australian Taxation Office

    If you think you are a victim of a tax-related scam, phone us on 1800 008 540 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday). You should do this as soon as possible. You should also contact your bank or financial institution if you think a scammer has your credit card details.

    Note that the ATO will never:

    • ask you to pay money to receive a refund or payment from us
    • ask you to pay a debt via a prepaid credit card or voucher
    • ask you to provide personal information, like your TFN or credit card number, via email or SMS
    • request your credit card details to process a payment on your behalf.

    8. Wrap up

    Alison Lendon thanked members for their attendance and input, noting the next meeting is scheduled for 16 March 2017.

    We recently released our Annual Report 2015–16, find out about our 2015–16 achievements by watching our Year in Review 2015–16 video or by reading the full copy of our annual report at

    To find out what we’re planning to deliver in 2016–17 view our Every Year Counts documents for each client segment at

      Last modified: 17 Nov 2016QC 50533