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Supporting the Tax Profession Working Group key messages 4 May 2021

Summary of key messages from Supporting the Tax Profession Working Group meeting 4 May 2021.

Last updated 18 May 2021

Group focus

The Supporting the Tax Profession working group is focused on developing a framework to respond to an adverse event. The framework is being co-designed in partnership with representatives from the Tax Profession Stewardship Group and BAS Agent Association Group and will aims to:

  • Respond to an adverse event in the immediate period to assesses the event and understand the next steps.
  • Work with representatives from the tax profession to assess, analyse and understand the long-term impacts from the adverse event on the tax profession, community and ATO and informing ATO strategies towards recovery from the event.
  • Inform ATO’s communication approach to deliver the required response in the immediate and over the recovery period from the event.
  • Ensure focus on mental health and wellbeing are considered and incorporated in response, support and communication activities – leveraging on the tax profession associations coverage and networks to expand the reach of engagement.

On the 4th of May an all project group member meeting was held to provide members with an overview of an initial version of the framework. Feedback and input were provided by members to refine the framework with acknowledgement that the framework provides a starting point for the ATO and Tax Profession to work together and will continually evolve upon implementation.

Project group deliverable update – Intermediaries adverse event response framework

The intermediaries adverse event response framework encompasses the deliverables being developed by each of the project groups.

Information and guidance

  • Incident and response communication approach that outlines the communications that will be delivered under the shorter Rapid Response and the Longer-term Frameworks.

Flexible and adaptable processes

  • Rapid response group framework that can be applied in the immediate period following the occurrence of an adverse event. This framework has also identified a group of stakeholders that will form part of a rapid response group if required to provide insight into the impact/s, proposed treatments, response activities and to support delivery of key messages.

Understanding long term impacts

  • Long term framework that can be used by the tax profession to provide support to the community and profession in times of crisis. This framework will outline the membership of a response group and an operational plan to highlight the communication and business readiness strategies that will be applied in the longer term.

In addition, each project group continues to place a focus on how the ATO can work together with the tax profession to improve frontline support that can be provided to clients that are struggling or experiencing mental health related issues or stress, including by providing empathy when dealing with clients and sharing available mental health resources.

Moving forward, the main focus of the project group will be to finalise the draft framework, seek feedback from the Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group, draft formal recommendations and to seek endorsement of both the framework and proposals for implementation from the ATO Executive.