• GST administration annual performance report 2013–14

    Foreword

    On behalf of the Commissioner of Taxation, I am pleased to present the ATO’s GST administration annual performance report 2013–14.

    In April 2014 a new GST Administration Performance Agreement was signed between the Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan, the Treasurer, the Hon Joe Hockey MP and each state and territory Treasurer. This agreement forms the basis for monitoring GST administration and will operate until 30 June 2017.

    In July 2013, the GST Advisory Group (the Group) was formed as one of eight peak national stewardship forums for the ATO. It has a key role in influencing improvements to the ATO’s administration of GST and future policy. Membership is made up of representatives from the Treasury, the business sector, academia, the tax profession and the small business community. The States and Territories Representative, John Corlis is also a member of the Group. It is chaired by the Deputy Commissioner of Indirect Tax.

    The Group has met three times this year and explored possibilities for deregulation and red tape reduction for GST, compliance burdens for small business, the relationship and overlap between GST and other taxes and a detailed review of GST litigation and the impacts of significant decisions this financial year.

    Overall, the administration of GST is considered to be stable; it is operating effectively in accordance with policy intent and consistent with the current legislative parameters. A gradual improvement in the positive trend of the GST gap over recent years, combined with positive indicators from other macro measures, suggests that the GST system has sound integrity and has a high level of willing participation.

    This year sees the conclusion of the 2010–11 Budget ‘Working together to improve voluntary compliance’ four year program. It is pleasing to report that we have delivered on the planned program outcomes.

    Specifically, there have been improvements in the timeliness of activity statement lodgments; a slowing of the growth rate of GST collectable debt and the earlier detection of potentially fraudulent refund claims. The GST benchmarking study, conducted over the four years, indicates an improvement in the attitudes or beliefs of the business community relating to the GST system.

    The program has raised an additional $1.72 billion in GST liabilities through our compliance activities and collected an additional $2.12 billion through our debt collection activities. These results exceed the four year commitments of $1.52 billion in GST liabilities and $325.2 million in GST debt collections.

    The ATO has embarked on a transformational change agenda which will position our administration and culture for the future. Our ‘Reinventing the ATO’ program is designed to ensure a client centric and contemporary approach to our services and compliance strategies.

    In the year ahead, we will be working to increase taxpayer self-service and self-review balanced with a suitable approach to dealing with non-compliance. Underpinning these changes, we will be taking active steps to create a dispute resolution culture to reduce unnecessary and costly litigation and disputes. We will also find ways to streamline advice and guidance that provide certainty for business.

    While the ATO is undergoing this significant change, we remain committed to administering the GST on behalf of the States and Territories.

    Finally, I would like to thank the Treasury, the States and Territories representatives on the GST Administration Subcommittee, the members of the GST Policy and Administration Subgroup, and the States and Territories Representative, John Corlis, for their ongoing support and advice.

    James O’Halloran
    Deputy Commissioner Indirect Tax

      Last modified: 22 Dec 2014QC 43515