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  • 10. Forward agenda items, other business and meeting close

    Debt

    Collectable debt at the end of December 2015 was $17.4 billion, down 6% year on year. Small business collectable debt was $11.1 billion, down 8.2%. Small business debt remains an area of focus as it accounts for 63.6% of collectable debt.

    At the end of December 2015, 90% of tax debt was paid on time and 96% paid within 90 days. 73% of small business tax debt was paid on time and 87% was paid within 90 days. Since 1 July 2015 the ATO has granted over 420,000 payment plans, of which over 280,000 were for small business. In the 2014-2015 financial year the ATO granted 800,000 payment plans, of which 500,000 were for small business.

    Less than 1% of individuals and small business with a tax debt enter insolvency, and the majority of these are self-initiated.

    In the first half of 2015-2016 the ATO issued 29,864 garnishees, an increase of 66.2% compared with the first half of 2014-2015.

    The ATO highlighted areas where programs that use analytics and behavioural insights to gain a greater understanding of payment behaviours and apply those insights to deliver the right treatments to address tax debt. Programs include:

    Make it as easy as possible to support people to pay their tax on time using a wide range of tools and payment channels, including the use of SMS reminders and redesigned letters.

    The ATO preference is to work with people to meet their payment obligations on time or address any debts that arise as early as possible while they are manageable

    Stronger action is taken for the minority of people that do not promptly address their tax debt.

    Other business

    The ATO will issue an invitation to members to join a small business event that will showcase digital tools and services for small business. Tax practitioners and professional association representatives will be able to see what the ATO is doing for small business and what is being shown to them.

    Members were reminded that the Complex issue resolution service is available to resolve complex administrative issues and tax technical interpretation queries tax and BAS agents have been unable to resolve online or by phone. Tax practitioners can submit queries online using the Complex issue resolution form.

    Forward agenda items

    The ATO will discuss the individual segment tax practitioner compliance strategy at the next meeting, and consider an item on the transparency guidelines for private groups.

    Any topics for the agenda can be sent to ATPAGsecretariat@ato.gov.au at any time.

    2016 Meeting schedule

    Members have been sent calendar invitations for the following 2016 meeting dates:

    • Friday 20 May 2016, Moonee Ponds VIC
    • Friday 19 August 2016, Sydney NSW
    • Friday 18 November 2016, Moonee Ponds VIC.
      Last modified: 12 May 2016QC 48959