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  • ATO consultation arrangements report

    This report describes ATO consultation activities to 31 May 2019.

    This report is prepared monthly and shared with our stewardship groups.

    It contains:

    Statistics

    Consultation matters in progress

    Consultation matter(s) received May 2019

    [201915] Protecting your super implementation - Registered: May 2019; Expected completion: July 2019

    Purpose: To understand the factual scenarios in which compensation payments will be made to superannuation funds to determine the superannuation, income tax and GST consequences.

    [201917] Information requests - GST refund - Registered: May 2019; Expected completion: June 2019

    Purpose: To seek feedback on proposed changes to the lost members register protocol incorporating:

    • recent changes to the law
    • clarification to content based on enquiries received from industry.

    [201918] Successor Fund Transfer (SFT) - Registered: May 2019; Expected completion: June 2019

    Purpose: To update the ATO's proof of record at contact questions in accordance with community expectations.

    Consultation matters completed May 2019

    [201914] User Testing - Tax Time change impacts on the user experience for agents, small businesses and individuals

    Registered: April 2019; Completed: May 2019

    [201913] Proof of record contact questions

    Registered: April 2019; Completed: May 2019

    [201823] Effective life review of assets

    Registered: August 2018; Completed: May 2019

    [201819] Superannuation measures - Federal Budget 2018-19

    Registered: August 2018; Completed: May 2019

    New draft advice and guidance products open for consultation

    No draft advice and guidance products were released for consultation during May 2019.

    See Open consultation for current products open for consultation

    Stewardship group news

    The refreshed Individuals Stewardship Group met on 30 May 2019 and discussed:

    • Single Touch Payroll and what that means for an individual (employee) in terms of their pay and super information reported to the ATO, and changes to their income statements when they prepare their tax return this year
    • changes this Tax Time including:
      • the online experience for individuals, particularly those using myTax
      • areas of focus of our communication campaign
      • help and support such as new occupation guides and rentals tools kits
      • Tax Help, pop-ups centres and tax clinics
       
    • tax clinics being piloted through a number of universities to assist unrepresented and lower income individuals and small businesses
    • whole of government digital ID project (myGovID) with a demonstration of the myGovID mobile app to be released into the Apple store on 9 June 2019
    • a joint ATO / Department of Service Delivery program of work to address ‘pain points’ in the transfer system that affect our mutual clients.

    The Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group met on 31 May 2019. The main topics discussed included:

    • Tax Time 2019 ATO readiness
    • Activity Statement Financial Processing
    • Superannuation
    • Commonwealth Business Registries Service
    • Tax Agent Engagement and Assurance
    • ATO Debt strategies and the ‘Payment Thinking’ initiative
    • Whistleblowing and Tax Integrity Centre

    The GST Stewardship Group met on 30 May 2019 and the main topics of discussion included:

    • the ATO’s realignment of the Client Engagement Group which includes integrating management of GST into the client experiences and retaining a central GST centre
    • role of the GST Stewardship Group and its importance in working together to shape how we are administering the GST system
    • Public Advice and Guidance program for GST
    • ATO Performance measures and operational efficiency
    • An update on Justified Trust and corporate governance including the GST Analytical Tool (previously known as the ‘GST ratio’).

    Short-term groups

    The Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group met on 30 May 2019. The main topics discussed included:

    • ATO Online services for agents
    • Digital Identity program and AUSkey transition and change management
    • Tax Time 2019 and ATO system readiness
    • Cyber security.

    The BAS Agent Association Group met via tele-conference on 9 May to discuss the end of the ATO Online Services public beta for BAS agents and the next steps of the transition from the BAS agent portal.

    The Tax Agent Engagement and Assurance working group met on 10 May 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to seek member feedback on the ATO Intermediary engagement model, in particular:

    • the approach used to categorise tax agents
    • the language used to describe tax agent behaviour
    • how the ATO intend to differentiate approaches based on the risk assessment of a tax agent.

    Members discussed how this program of work incorporates a number of strategies such as the early intervention program.

    The Activity Statement Financial Processing (ASFP) working group continued to meet weekly to discuss elements of the project that will impact on the client and tax practitioner experience. The main topics discussed in May 2019 included:

    • ASFP Risk Assessment
    • ASFP screen demonstration
    • Activity statement statutory and concessional due dates
    • Internal ATO conversion and readiness activities

    The Tax Time Shareable content working group met on 24 May 2019 to review and provide feedback on three new occupation guides and posters being developed for the Tax Time toolkit on the ATO website focusing on:

    • Lawyers
    • Factory Workers
    • Engineers
    • Mining

    The group will continue to meet each month and review products as they are developed for Tax Time 2019.

    Members of the Not-for-Profit (NFP) Stewardship Group Superannuation Guarantee Working Group completed work on web guidance for the treatment of annual leave loading for Superannuation Guarantee purposes. Guidance available on the ATO website has been updated to address concerns raised by the group.

    Members of the NFP Stewardship Group also provided feedback on draft Tax Ruling TR2018/D2 - Fringe benefits tax: benefits provided to religious practitioners prior to its finalisation, and were invited to provide comments on draft Taxation Ruling TR2018/D1 – Income tax: the ‘in Australia’ requirement for certain gift recipients and income tax exempt entities.

    Members of the NFP Stewardship group have also provided guidance on the design of the Franking credit refund pilot which is progressing to implementation in mid-June 2019. A group of around 200 not-for-profit organisations will participate in a franking credit refund pilot that aims to improve the process for lodgment and processing of applications for the 2018–19 financial year.

    The 2018-19 Federal Budget Super Measures Group closed on 3 May 2019.

    Members were:

    • emailed to advise the group had reached a natural closure point on co-designing measures announced in and around the 2018-19 Federal Budget.
    • thanked for their contribution to co-design with the ATO about the administration of the laws related to Superannuation.
    • advised that the Broader Consultation Group open to the whole of the super industry will continue.

    The 2018-19 Federal Budget - Broader Consultation Group (providing updates from the SMG to the wider superannuation industry) met on 28 May 2019 with:

    • an update about the SMSF rollovers provided
    • information about the issues log and forms related to the Protecting Your Super package provided
    • Members having an opportunity to ask questions in relation to the Protecting Your Superannuation package

    The STP Readiness Working GroupExternal Link closed 10 May 2019. Members were advised the group will cease and new limited life working groups would be formed as required to deliver to specific outcomes.

    The STP Advisory GroupExternal Link met on 23 May 2019 and members were:

    • informed about the progress of employers taking up STP reporting, including small employers who are voluntarily reporting
    • advised about some common errors that are occurring and support being offered to employers requiring assistance in rectifying them
    • able to raise any concerns and share insights from their clients and the STP experience
    • assured that ATO systems are coping with the increased volume of transactions and will continue to do so thanks to capacity planning in the lead up to Tax Time.
    • informed about the work being undertaken for small employer readiness including the communications campaign.
    • updated on consultation on using STP data to prefill activity statements in the future.

    The Single Touch Payroll Technical CommitteeExternal Link met on 1 May 2019 with members:

    • agreeing to continue with the existing purpose of quickly consulting on technical issues
    • being asked whether to continue with the existing forward schedule of meetings or progress matters which come up using technical focus groups
    • agreeing to re-commence regular meetings as and when appropriate
    • discussing common technical issues that are impacting STP interactions, and being informed of progress in addressing impacts.

    The STP Micro Focus Group (sub group of the STP special purpose working groups) met on 23 May 2019 with members:

    • invited to share their views on tax practitioner webcast content, the segmented approach for small employers and the messaging timeline to employers
    • discussing presentation materials and content to be shared with the practitioner audience
    • invited to provide feedback on the content and provide comments/suggestions.

    The STP Phase 2 Payroll Focus Group (sub group of the STP special purpose working groups) met on 31 May 2019 with members:

    • presented with a proposed data structure for the Phase 2 Message Structure Table (MST)
    • walked through the planned milestones and deliverables for Phase 2 to assure the timelines would suit industry
    • considering if industry would have time to consume our guidance and deliver Phase 2 compliant software
    • discussing potential changes incorporated into the Phase 2 MST which could address Phase 1 design or to improve accuracy going forward - suggestions were well received
    • asked to form a deep dive team to design the data structure in sprints between now and the end of financial year
    • agreeing the broader Payroll Focus Group will meet fortnightly to circulate any decisions required and review progress of the Deep Dive Group.
    Last modified: 04 Jul 2019QC 43732