5. Commissioners’ Statement 2013-14 – ATO’s transformational change agenda
Annette Chooi provided members with information on the following five initiatives which
Improve timeliness of audits and advice (Income Tax) –
New model for consultation
Differentiated Business Reporting (DBR)
External Compliance Assurance Process (ECAP)
Reportable Tax Positions (RTP)
For the ECAP project, Annette informed members that the ATO has been working on a possible concept of an ECAP - an ‘assurance review’ conducted by an appropriate external party that would verify to the ATO that a taxpayer is meeting their tax obligations in relation to some matter. Members suggested that more work may be required to determine who undertakes the review: statutory auditor or other. One member noted that Inbound multi-national companies subject to the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 may not allow for external auditors to be engaged in providing other services.
Frank Drenth requested the opportunity for the Corporate Tax Association to provide input into the RTP evaluation.
Brett Martin provided information of the other five initiatives:
GST Gap analysis – industry strategy
Lower-risk taxpayer service enhancements
International engagement initiatives
Bank notices project
Increased electronic lodgment
Annette Chooi informed members of three recruitment processes currently underway to engage audit and tax professionals to build on our expertise and a panel of experts to look at Pre-lodgment Compliance Reviews (PCRs) and Annual Compliance Agreements (ACAs).
Shane Reardon sought members’ views on what ‘contemporary practice’ as outlined in the Commissioners’ Statement 2013-14 below, means for the large market:
“To achieve our outcomes, together we must:… ensure our services and communications match contemporary practices of business and government”.
Members suggestions included:
The content of the Large business and tax compliance publication could be briefer –include recommendations for readers that advice should be sought from the ATO and/or tax professionals and advisors on details and requirements for complex matters (Frank Drenth - CTA).
Contemporary communication practices could include use of social media such as YouTube to provide information on emerging large business tax issues (Frank Drenth – Corporate Tax Association).
A more 'contemporary' service was suggested for AUSkey/multi-agency online services to reflect the way businesses interact over time, including a relaxing of requirements for Public Officer approvals once a trustworthy relationship is established between the ATO and the large taxpayer (Craig Hespe – Insurance Australia Group).
Improvements to Pre-lodgment Compliance Reviews (PCRs), including establishing a protocol between ATO and large taxpayer (Niv Tadmore – Law Council of Australia).