• Targeting tax crime: A whole-of-government approach - March 2012


    The sixth issue of Targeting tax crime: a whole-of-government approach (PDF, 3.04MB) is now available.

    Commissioner's message

    Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo

    We are fortunate that most Australians value their privileges of citizenship and recognise the important role played by the tax and superannuation systems to their wellbeing.

    The community's embrace of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship is the backbone of Australia's tax and superannuation systems. This, in combination with an efficient and adaptable tax administration of high integrity, helps our nation ride the tides of economic vicissitude better than many other countries.

    The threat to our economic wellbeing comes from those who don't support our tax system. We only need to look at the financial crises facing some of our member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries to see that a climate of large-scale tax cheating, combined with other negative fiscal factors, can lead to declining revenue and a chronic debt crisis.

    While threats to our economy can be concerning, it is also an opportunity to rise to the challenge, anticipating and responding to new threats with collaborative action.

    Together with our Wickenby partners, we are steadfast in our determination to break down criminal networks and deter participants and promoters of tax crime to preserve and protect the wellbeing of Australians.

    Through new technical capability and technology, and partnering with state, federal and international jurisdictions, we are also playing our part in the Commonwealth's Organised Crime Strategic Framework. The objective is to target the most significant threats and reduce the social and economic impacts of organised crime on the Australian community. This is further strengthened by a deepening level of co-operation among tax administrations and law enforcement agencies around the world, and by international commitment to greater transparency.

    At the ATO, we are focused on identifying and mitigating compliance risks, influencing administrative policy at a global level and championing international transparency. Through cooperation at both a national and international level we can bring to light more and more instances of tax evasion and help make a more hostile environment for evaders and potential evaders.

    Australia signed the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters at the G20 Cannes Summit in November 2011. Thirty-four countries are now party to this convention, which allows for assistance in collection, exchange of information and service of documents. This is another big step forward in creating international transparency to assist our efforts in dealing with offshore tax evasion.

    In this edition of Targeting tax crime, we explore the relationship between those who threaten the financial security of the Australian community through crime, evasion and avoidance and the community's response in detecting and deterring them.

    Once again, we invite you to subscribe to Targeting tax crime to have future editions of the magazine delivered directly to your inbox, so you never miss an issue. Otherwise, stay tuned to www.ato.gov.au/targetingtaxcrime

    Michael D'Ascenzo - signature

    Michael D'Ascenzo
    Commissioner of Taxation

      Last modified: 21 Mar 2012QC 28286