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  • Private Groups Stewardship Group key messages 29 March 2019

    ATO's Client Engagement Group realignment

    Tim Dyce – Deputy Commissioner, Private Wealth ATO

    Will Day – Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Compliance ATO

    The ATO recently announced an internal realignment of our Client Engagement Group to better reflect the way we’d like to interact with clients, and to help us deliver the best possible outcomes for the community.

    From 12 March the Private Wealth business line will be responsible for privately owned and wealthy groups under the leadership of Tim Dyce. This is designed to align with our structure to the market segments in which we work, and to take a more holistic view of our clients and their interactions across the tax and super system.

    For this group, the changes mean Tim Dyce will take over as Chair from Will Day.

    An updated picture of our structure and leadership group across the ATO is available in our organisational chart.

    Private Groups Populations

    Kasey Macfarlane – Assistant Commissioner, Private Wealth ATO

    Michael Drogaris – Senior Director, Private Wealth ATO

    The ATO has updated the thresholds and categories through which we view the private groups’ population.

    The revised thresholds and population categories are designed to more closely align our view of the private groups’ population with the tax gap populations for large business, high wealth private groups and medium businesses, and will inform the ATO’s current and future programmes of work for private groups.

    Specific taxpayer attributes and circumstances remain the key drivers of the nature of our engagement with individual private groups. The ATO’s updated view of the private groups’ population will also allow for our engagement with private groups to be appropriately and further tailored and refined depending upon their size in terms of net wealth and/or turnover.

    The following table sets out the ATO’s revised view of the private groups’ population based upon net wealth and/or turnover and updated thresholds


    Population Parameters

    Large Private Groups

    Private groups included in our Top 320 engagement and assurance program;


    Corporate groups with total business income >$250 million

    High Wealth Private Groups

    Private groups whose net wealth exceeds $50m.

    Medium Private Groups

    Individuals and private business groups, including corporate groups, with turnover >= $10m whose net wealth does not exceed $50m;


    Private groups with net wealth > $10m

    Emerging Private Groups

    Private groups whose net wealth ranges between $5 million and $10 million.

    Reportable Tax Position

    Michael Morton – Assistant Commissioner, Public Groups ATO

    Kasey Macfarlane – Assistant Commissioner, Private Wealth ATO

    Michael Drogaris – Senior Director, Private Wealth ATO

    Following the November 2018 Private Groups Stewardship Group meeting, members were presented with, and briefed upon, the RTP consultation paper that had been developed to garner feedback on the implementation of the RTP schedule to large private groups. It was noted that the process to be adopted is consistent with the previous expansion of the RTP Schedule to large public and multinational groups.

    The brief to the Stewardship Group also relayed that the implementation of the RTP schedule for Private groups aims at:

    • Providing a level playing field among professional service firms and large corporate groups by ensuring taxpayers receive high quality advice, as this underpins self-assessment and aids community confidence. Responsible advisers should practice with integrity as they play a major role in keeping clients engaged. Responsible advisers and the wider community should be confident that advisers known to be engaged in inappropriate and risky behaviour will be subject to additional scrutiny and a differentiated experience.
    • Providing a level playing field among large corporate groups by ensuring all large businesses have the same obligation to disclose their most contestable and material tax positions, irrespective of whether they are a public or private business, and providing a consistent client experience for public and private clients in the large market.

    The Stewardship Group was informed that the extension of the RTP schedule obligations will take effect from the 2019–2020 financial year with first lodgements due in 2021. This would apply to companies in large private groups, with the lead time being consistent with the lead time provided for the previous expansion of the RTP Schedule to large public and multinational groups.

    Initial feedback provided by the members at the meeting on the consultation paper and process was that there would be a need to address some issues arising during the meeting through a limited working group before a wider circulation of the consultation paper. It was also agreed that this would occur and that the closing date for submissions would need to be extended as a result of this process.

    Commercial Deals Program

    Vaughan Snook – Senior Director, Private Wealth ATO

    Benjamin Rupert – Director, Private Wealth ATO

    Information was presented to members on the ATO’s Commercial Deals Program, including the current end to end process and experiences of the program so far.

    Overall very positive feedback was received regarding the delivery and intent of the program.

    Members identified timeliness is a key area requiring attention, with some of our engagements taking too long.

    Further stakeholder engagement/consultation is required to further improve the current program.

    Communicating with Privately Owned and Wealthy Groups

    Sally Bektas – Assistant Commissioner, ATO Corporate ATO

    A brief overview was provided of the work undertaken by Marketing and Communications to improve the client experience, with feedback provided by members on various information sources and channels that they find beneficial/useful.

    Members were advised of a ‘hot off the press’ video release of Tim Dyce at the recent OECD Global Forum on VAT - LinkedIn Showcase page: focus on medium and large businessExternal Link.

    Members were also invited to participate in user testing of the review of the ATO’s business mega menu.

    Tax Governance Project

    Ash Khera – Senior Director, Private Wealth ATO

    Sharon Sutcliffe – Assistant Director, Private Wealth ATO

    An update was provided to members on the Tax Governance tools project which is additional guidance and support for private groups to demonstrate good tax governance.

    The 2 tools being delivered on 1 July 2019 are:

    Information System Risk Assessment (ISRA) tool to externals on 1 July 2019

    Tax Governance tool for ATO staff

    Members were invited to participate in testing of the ISRA tool, scheduled for release to clients and advisors on 1 July 2019.

    Members were also invited to co-design and explore release of the Tax Governance Tool to clients and advisors via a separate follow up invitation.

    Income Tax update

    Income Tax update

    Peter Koit – Assistant Commissioner, Private Wealth ATO

    Peter Koit presented an update on a number of income tax issues.

    Div 7A Treasury consultation

    The Government issued a consultation paper in October 2018 seeking stakeholder views on the proposed implementation approach for the amendments to Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

    The Government received valuable feedback from stakeholders which highlighted that this is a complex area of the tax law and raised implementation issues that warrant further consideration. 


    There is no further progress to update since the November 2018 meeting.

    Superannuation update

    James O’Halloran – Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation and Employer Obligations

    James O’Halloran referred to the Superannuation update included as part of the agenda, specifically referring to the recent change of super information available to fund members via ATO online services and myGov.

    Specifically the ATO will share with individuals the confirmation of the payment period and the amount paid into a member’s account by their employer including:

    • superannuation guarantee amounts
    • salary sacrifice amounts
    • voluntary employer contributions
    • award contributions.

    James advised that further information can be located on the ATO’s website.


    Organisation and name of attendees



    Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand

    Michael Croker

    CPA Australia

    Greg Nielsen

    Deloitte Private

    Michael Gastevich

    Fox Private Group

    Michael Griffith

    Independent member

    Paul Brassil


    Mal Cameron

    Law Council of Australia

    Terry Murphy

    Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

    Andrew White

    The Tax Institute

    Mark Molesworth

    Grocon Pty Limited

    Annemarie Numa

    Family Business Australia

    Wendy Foster

    PwC Private

    Michael Dean

    Lowy Family Group

    John Fanning

    Oatley Family Group

    Peter Gillett

    PFD Foods

    Peter Cartsidimas


    Tim Dyce, Deputy Commissioner, Private Wealth

    James O’Halloran, Assistant Commissioner, Superannuation and Employer Obligations

    Kasey Macfarlane, Assistant Commissioner, Private Wealth

    Peter Koit, Assistant Commissioner, Private Wealth

    Ash Khera, Senior Director, Private Wealth

    Ellen Denton, Secretariat, Private Wealth

    Additional ATO guest attendees

    Will Day, Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Compliance
    (Agenda Item 2 – Client Engagement Group realignment)

    Michael Morton, Assistant Commissioner, Public Groups
    (Agenda Item 4 – Reportable Tax Position)

    Michael Drogaris, Senior Director, Private Wealth
    (Agenda Item 3 and 4 – Reportable Tax Position/ Private Groups Population)

    Vaughan Snook, Senior Director, Private Wealth
    (Agenda Item 5 – Commercial Deals Program)

    Benjamin Rupert, Director, Private Wealth
    (Agenda Item 5 – Commercial Deals Program)

    Sally Bektas, Assistant Commissioner, ATO Corporate
    (Agenda Item 6 – Communicating with Privately Owned and Wealthy Groups)

    Sharon Sutcliffe, Assistant Director, Small Business,
    (Agenda Item 8 – Tax and Systems Governance Tools)

    Jade Isaacs, Assistant Commissioner, Private Wealth
    (Agenda Item 9 – Income Tax Update)




    Arnold Bloch Leibler

    Paul Sokolowski

      Last modified: 29 Apr 2019QC 58685