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  • Inspector-General of Taxation

    The Assistant Treasurer released four reports by the Inspector-General of Taxation during 2010-11. The reports are available at

    TABLE 7.8: Inspector-General of Taxation reports, 2010-11



    Review into the ATO's administration of the Superannuation Guarantee Charge

    This review examined the ATO's administration of the Superannuation Guarantee Charge.

    The review found that the superannuation guarantee system works well for most Australians, with approximately $71.1 billion in employer contributions being made to superannuation funds in 2008-09. However, this amount included both mandated superannuation guarantee contributions and salary sacrifice amounts which made it difficult to quantify the level of superannuation guarantee non-compliance as a means of determining the true financial impact on employees of non-compliant employers.

    The review also found that people most at risk with the current superannuation guarantee system are the employees who are the least empowered or incorrectly classified as 'independent contractors' who are most reliant upon compulsory superannuation contributions for a higher standard of living in retirement beyond the age pension.

    We agreed to nine recommendations and disagreed with one recommendation.

    Review of aspects of the Australian Taxation Office's administration of private binding rulings

    This review focused on aspects of the ATO's administration of private binding rulings.

    The Inspector-General made six recommendations. One recommendation was a matter for government. The three recommendations the ATO has fully agreed (or agreed in principle) with involve the ATO taking steps to:

    • identify, track and report publicly on the most frequently requested private ruling topics;
    • notify private ruling applicants and the public of when rulings on particular topics may be delayed because of escalation arrangements put in place for such rulings; and
    • address delays and productivity issues that may arise from having large teams from different areas of the ATO working on private rulings.

    Follow up review into the Australian Taxation Office's implementation of agreed recommendations included in the six reports prepared by the Inspector-General of Taxation between June 2006 and October 2008

    The follow-up review was the second of two reviews undertaken to examine the ATO's implementation of agreed recommendations from all Inspector-General reports up until October 2008.

    These six reports focused on service entity arrangements, living away from home allowances, research and development syndicates, private binding rulings, administration of GST audits and the management of major, complex issues.

    The Inspector-General commented that the ATO had been responsive to earlier reviews, as shown by the improvements made in its administrative practices and approaches.

    The Inspector-General acknowledged that we implemented or made significant progress towards implementing 38 of 41 agreed recommendations.

    Review into the ATO's change program

    This review examined the ATO's implementation of the income tax release of the change program.

    The Inspector-General's report focused on the impact the income tax release (the part of the change program relating to the processing of income tax returns and refund payments) had on taxpayers and tax practitioners.

    The review noted that the program was high risk, but found that the ATO developed appropriate mitigation strategies. Areas of improvements were identified in this report, particularly in relation to the ATO's communications with taxpayers and tax practitioners.

    The report made nine recommendations about aspects of governance, compensation and communication.

    One recommendation was a matter for government. We agreed with five recommendations, agreed in part with two recommendations and disagreed with one recommendation.

      Last modified: 31 Oct 2011QC 28036