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Individuals Stewardship Group key messages 18 October 2022

Information about the key topics discussed at the Individuals Stewardship Group meeting on 18 October 2022.

Last updated 11 January 2023

Opening comments

Chair Hoa Wood welcomed returning and new members and noted this group is about getting the right voices in the room.

Environmental scan

Members shared insights into what they were seeing in their environment.

  • Financial Counselling Australia is seeing clients impacted by financial abuse and is interested in hearing about how the ATO supports vulnerable clients.
  • Treasury is preparing for the delivery of the 2022–23 October Budget.
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is seeing a rise in scams and noted there are Money Smart resources available which will be shared with members.
  • National Seniors Australia has noticed a rise in scams and frauds and continues to be interested in simplifying the system for seniors.
  • The ATO encouraged members to share feedback on our digital services where they identify widespread or systemic issues. We want to design our services with an end-to-end focus on the client experience, noting support for vulnerable clients is a key topic of interest for members.

Future direction of the Individuals Stewardship Group

Members reflected on 2022 and discussed what they would like to see at future meetings. The ATO noted this group is an opportunity to bring together diverse views and knowledge to help inform the ATO’s products and services for individuals. Members contributed valuable industry and client perspectives into the ATO’s approach to debt and support for vulnerable clients and these topics will continue to be a focus for the group in 2023. Members were invited to provide out-of-session feedback on the current Individuals Stewardship Group Charter.

Tax time

The ATO provided members with an update on the Tax Help program. The program is designed to provide accessible assistance to help people to meet their obligations, with the aim of them becoming self-sufficient in the future. Tax Help 2022 is being offered at 465 centres with 550 volunteers this year. The pandemic presented challenges for the Tax Help program with social distancing impacts, community centre closures/restrictions, and reduced volunteer involvement.

Dr Connie Vitale, Western Sydney University Tax Clinic, noted the Tax Clinics are seeing more referrals from financial counsellors and Legal Aid, with clients presenting with more complex affairs and multiple year returns.

Taxpayers’ Charter review

The ATO provided members with an update on the review of the Taxpayers’ Charter (the Charter). The Charter provides taxpayers clarity about their rights and obligations, and what they can expect from the ATO in administering the tax and superannuation systems. We are committed to regularly reviewing the Charter to ensure it remains contemporary and meets its original purpose. Our last review of the Charter was in 2017–18.

The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman recommended that the ATO consult with stakeholders on updating the Charter.

The focus of the review is to ensure the Charter:

  • meets community expectations about how the ATO engages with taxpayers in its administration of the tax, super and registry systems
  • accurately reflects what clients can expect from the ATO when dealing with us
  • assists ATO staff in their interactions with clients
  • fulfils its purpose of informing the public of their rights when dealing with the ATO.

Members were provided with an overview of the consultation approach and feedback received so far. Members provided valuable insights into the current Charter and were encouraged to provide further feedback via the consultation process.

Update from ATO Second Commissioner

Jeremy Hirschhorn, Second Commissioner, Client Engagement Group, ATO attended the meeting to discuss with members what is important to them and the individuals they represent. Items discussed included:

  • the important role of ATO stewardship groups in helping the ATO understand impacts on the community
  • assurance for the community that large corporates are paying their share of tax
  • the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation.

Australian Business Registry Services

With the 30 November deadline to obtain a director ID approaching for directors appointed on or before 31 October 2021, the Australian Business Registry Services team provided an update and encouraged members to share the supplied messaging with their networks and clients. Leading up to the deadline for existing directors, director ID will be extensively promoted across a range of channels.


Attendees list




Hoa Wood (Chair), Individuals and Intermediaries


Kerry O'Loghlin, Individuals and Intermediaries


Kylie Smith, Individuals and Intermediaries


Lloyd Williams, Individuals and Intermediaries


Trevor Schloss, Superannuation and Employer Obligations

Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Benjamin Law

Australian Shareholders Association Limited

Eden Zanatta

Financial Counselling Australia

Carmel Franklin

National Seniors Australia

Brendon Radford

Real Estate Institute of Australia

Jock Kreitals

Tax Clinic

Connie Vitale


Bede Fraser

Guest attendees

Guest attendees list




Chris Cook, ATO Corporate


Darren Wilson, Individuals and Intermediaries


Jeremy Hirschhorn, ATO Executive


Katherine Philp, ATO Corporate


Martin Jacobs, Australian Business Registry Services


Rebecca Sullivan (Secretariat), Individuals and Intermediaries


Robin Hayes, Australian Business Registry Services


Thomas O'Byrne, ATO Corporate


Tim Brushaber, Objections and Review


Apologies list



AMES Australia

Teresita Romero

Federation of Ethnic Communities' Council of Australia

Alexandra Raphael

First Nations Foundation

Phil Usher

People with Disability Australia

Samantha French