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  • Early Intervention Program

    Tax agents and their advisors play an important role in helping their clients to get their tax and super right. Tax agents who do not meet professional standards may be gaining an unfair advantage over others who do the right thing, leaving their clients with significant consequences and liabilities.

    The ATO has been provided with funding under the Shadow Economy program to better understand the drivers behind agent behaviour. In turn, these insights will help tailor our strategies for agents and encourage willing participation in our tax and super systems. Our proactive support and guidance aim to reduce the number of agents who are at risk of becoming a concern in the future. The Early Intervention Strategy plays a key role in addressing this agent population, where prevention and early action is critical.

    We work closely with the Tax Practitioner’s Board and Professional Associations to identify opportunities for us to jointly improve how we maintain the integrity of the tax and super system.

    How the program works

    Leveraging the full scope of our data and analytics, we take a holistic approach to identifying tax agents at risk. These may be agents who:

    • show partial compliance in certain areas
    • have let their internal quality controls slip or they were never present
    • may lack capability in one or more areas
    • may display opportunistic behaviours

    We develop a tailored approach to engage with the identified agent. This will include a conversation with the agent around the data and our concerns. Where we identify opportunities or gaps we will advise of educational and support products to assist agents. We may also ask agents to review their practices and allow them the opportunity to correct information where there are identified issues.

    We will monitor future performance and we expect that a majority of agents we work with through this program will see improvement, enabling a better experience for their clients. However, if we detect a reluctance to engage with us or a deterioration of behaviour, we may escalate to other treatment strategies.

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    Last modified: 27 Jun 2022QC 58494