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  • Our story

    The ATO has changed. We've embraced technology and the digital world and changed how we interact with taxpayers.

    Our digital approach is driven by a clear focus on continuous improvement to our tax and super system. We now offer one of the most advanced online tax service environments in the world.

    We know that if you have trust and confidence in us, you are more likely to willingly comply with your tax obligations.

    In his keynote address to the Tax Institute's 33rd National Convention (15 March 2018), our Commissioner Chris Jordan, AO spoke about the need for balance, pragmatism, respect and empathy for taxpayers and their representatives.

    ‘Taking money from people and businesses is not always welcomed, and at times we have to be very firm and resolute in our actions so the majority knows we are acting in their interests to ensure everyone is paying the right amount,’ Mr Jordan said.

    He added ‘I do not underestimate how important it is that people have trust and confidence in me and the ATO.’

    Creating a better experience for our clients is at the heart of everything we do. We are making it easy for you to meet your tax obligations by being streamlined, integrated and data-driven. By focusing on digital, we can design the right client experiences, and further encourage voluntary tax compliance.

    We are a highly-regarded tax administrator. Australia is one of the most tax compliant members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with one of the lowest corporate tax gaps.

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    What has changed?

    Most Australians know that our quality of life depends on paying the right amount of tax. We all want good schools, modern hospitals and first-class universities. All of these services, and many others, are paid for by the taxpayer.

    Our goal is to make it easy to comply and hard not to. Collecting the right amount of tax up front is the most efficient way to operate a tax system, reducing the cost to the taxpayer.

    We’re making a significant investment in digital services, data, and embracing new technology to make it easier for you.

    People expect to have their questions answered and do business 24/7 – and we’ve evolved to meet those needs.

    Transferring almost all of our systems to a digital platform delivers the kind of experience Australia’s taxpayers want. Over 6.7 million individuals now interact with us online, whether it’s on social media or the web.

    We work with reliable digital services, ensuring our IT providers, outsourced functions, digital service providers and other suppliers achieve excellence, efficiency and security.

    It’s all about building trust and confidence in the ATO – we help people get it right while ensuring those who cheat the system are caught.

    What remains the same?

    Our vision, mission and values are the same. We are focussed on improving the client and staff experience and fostering a culture of service. We want to get involved early and prevent mistakes, rather than trying to fix things afterwards.

    We continue to help people who can’t access digital services and help those who need it.

    We're building on what's important

    Every interaction is important to us. We focus on doing the basics brilliantly. We will continue to declutter our processes and take action when we see something isn’t right.

    We understand that, to build a system people can trust, we need to:

    • encourage people to do the right thing and engage with us early if something could be a problem
    • deal effectively with individuals and businesses that don’t play fair.

    We’re ready for the challenges and opportunities the future will bring.

    Our long-term view

    Five years ago we began Reinventing the ATO, and we are still working hard to create a better tax and superannuation system. Our plan to 2024 is a clear vision for our future, which guides and gives direction for where we need to be and how we will get there.

    We want to be seen as a world class, service-oriented business that works with our clients to achieve the best results.

    See also:

    Last modified: 29 Mar 2019QC 57204