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How we consult

Find out about how we consult and what to expect for anyone involved in consultation.

Last updated 25 April 2023

Consultation arrangements

The ATO consults using established groups or bespoke consultation depending on the matter.

Consultation can take a variety of forms including:

  • existing groups
  • consultation papers
  • stakeholder briefings
  • facilitated workshops
  • focus groups
  • interviews.

The appropriateness of each method will depend on what we are consulting about, our objective, the time available and level of impact or risk.

Bespoke consultation

Bespoke consultation is tailored and uses diverse and multiple methods to engage with stakeholders. It is flexible in its approach and does not include consultation completed exclusively with members of a single consultation group.

Established groups

The ATO has several existing consultation groups that can be used to conduct consultation. These groups have a clear purpose and comprise a diverse range of stakeholders.

Consultation expectations

Our principles recognise good relationship management is required to achieve quality consultation outcomes.

This includes establishing expectations for each party involved in ATO consultation.

All parties involved in consultation are to:

  • be treated with courtesy and respect
  • disclose any matters that could be perceived to be, or are, conflicts of interest
  • engage in the consultation in good faith and with integrity
  • respect and maintain the confidentiality of information provided by others
  • be open to feedback
  • show mutual respect for the expertise and contributions of others
  • abide by the professional code of conduct and/or values relevant to them, if applicable
  • acknowledge while diversity in views is respected, the ATO remains responsible for the final decision or approach that will be taken.

Participants in consultation are to:

  • bring an open mind and actively share your knowledge and expertise
  • bring relevant knowledge and expertise, either from own experience or by canvassing members of any organisation you represent
  • provide the views of any professional body you represent
  • ensure you meet legislative requirements regarding your personal tax obligations.

ATO staff leading consultation are to:

  • use good planning to develop a considered approach
  • identify the right stakeholders and engage them from the earliest possible stage
  • ensure methods used allow stakeholders to contribute through appropriate channels
  • clearly communicate the purpose and desired consultation outcome
  • engage regularly with others involved in the consultation using appropriate means
  • enable considered contributions to be made by providing adequate time
  • be clear on any timeframe impacts, including any out of ATO control
  • be open to receiving feedback and provide feedback to stakeholders to demonstrate how their responses have been considered
  • inform stakeholders of the consultation outcome prior to finalising.