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  • Statement from Commissioner Chris Jordan: A message to tax professionals

    As 2019 draws to a close I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you, tax professionals, for your significant contributions this year. Your support has ensured the success of some important improvements to our systems and services.

    Tax professionals are a vital part of the tax system, and our commitment to providing you with a more streamlined and integrated experience has motivated a number of changes over 2019. We replaced our outdated BAS and Tax Agents portals with the more functional Online services for agents, and laid the groundwork for further improvements in 2020. Our Activity Statements Financial Processing project will provide one ATO accounting and debt system, resulting in better client oversight and providing a platform for future improvements. We will also be replacing AUSkey with myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager at the end of March, to provide a more secure environment for you and the taxpayers you represent.

    While these initiatives are designed to provide better services for you, we recognise that with any change comes disruption. We also understand that when new services are introduced, there are sometimes irritants and issues that need to be addressed. I can assure you we do not underestimate the impact this has on your business and your clients, and we do not make major changes lightly.

    However we know that in the long term these changes will allow us to provide better services, reducing administrative burden and unnecessary processes so you can get on with the job of providing meaningful advice and guidance. We appreciate your patience and understanding during periods of change, so we can continue to deliver a better experience for you.

    We will continue to work hard to minimise any disruption, and welcome your feedback on how to make our systems work for you and your clients. Through Online services for agents we were able to create an improved experience for tax professionals thanks to consultation with you, beta testing, and feedback from professional associations. We will continue to take that approach, asking for and listening to your feedback so that our solutions are workable, practical, and meet your needs.

    I have always said, and continue to believe, that the health of the tax system depends on a successful working partnership between tax professionals and the ATO. Strengthening that relationship has been a focus of mine as Commissioner, and will continue to be going forward. I look forward to working with you all in 2020 to understand and manage the impact of changes and ultimately provide you with better services, products and systems.

    Thank you again for your support. I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

    Chris Jordan

    Commissioner of Taxation

    Last modified: 12 Dec 2019QC 60945