• ATO consultation arrangements report

    This report describes ATO consultation activities to 31 August 2017.

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

    It contains:


    The ATO recently published a short video to ATO TVExternal Link about Single Touch Payroll. The Australian Government also announced External Linkon 29 August 2017 it would expand Single Touch Payroll to employers with 19 or less employees. This is subject to a legislative amendment being introduced and passed in Parliament.

    Visit the Public Advice and Guidance CommunityExternal Link to view current consultationExternal Link on a draft Practical Compliance Guideline applying to registrable superannuation entities (RSEs) that contract with custodians to provide custodial and investment administration services for the RSE's assets.

    The Superannuation Industry Stewardship Group met on 22 August 2017 and discussed:

    • outcomes of implementing the government’s 2016 Budget measures
    • implementing the government’s housing measures announced in the Federal Budget 2017–18
    • the government’s reforms associated with improving transparency and accountability for the super system
    • SMSF Association’s global centre of excellence for retirement savings initiative
    • outcomes of the Single Touch Payroll consultation to support the online design for choice of fund
    • member bodies’ priorities for 2017–18
    • an overview of the proposed event-based reporting design for APRA-regulated funds.

    The GST Stewardship Group met on 23 August 2017 and covered the following topics:

    • background and progress towards implementation and proposed consultation for the measure to improve the integrity of GST on property transactionsExternal Link which was announced in the 2017–18 Federal Budget - led by the Treasury
    • an outline on the implementation of the valuable metals measure which received Royal Assent on 26 June 2017. For those who have not fully complied with the retrospective operation of the measure, the ATO is providing messages and support so that past transactions are rectified
    • new business models including discussion on waiver of adjustment note requirements and tax invoices following decisions of Courts and Tribunals
    • general discussion on consideration of sunset clauses in GST private binding rulings, the process for GST and self-assessment objections, and when the Commissioner’s General Power of Administration is exercised.

    The Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group met on 18 August 2017 and topics discussed at the meeting included:

    • the progress of Tax Time 2017, scams and fraudulent activity
    • 2017 Budget measures and superannuation guarantee compliance issues
    • event-based reporting for self-managed superannuation funds
    • Single Touch Payroll implementation
    • the establishment of a sub-group of members to focus on work related expenses and the draft design of the real time analytics project for tax agents
    • Australian Business Register modernisation.

    Weekly tax time meetings with members continued during the month. These meetings are held to discuss emerging issues and seek member feedback and share progress on tax time. The main topics discussed this month included:

    • changes to activity statements
    • system performance in the tax agent portals and the Practitioner Lodgment Service
    • progress on the transition to the Practitioner Lodgment Service
    • working holiday makers and payment summaries
    • work related expenses
    • scams and fraud affecting the community.

    The Large Business Stewardship Group met on 7 August and included discussion on:

    • compliance risks and emerging issues relating to indirect tax and income tax
    • preparations for the release of the large corporate group tax gap for the 2014–15 financial year
    • cross-border related party financing arrangements and consultation on the draft practical compliance guide
    • justified trust and the key taxpayer engagement strategy.

    The Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group met on 7 August 2017 to discuss the transition from the Electronic Lodgment Service (ELS) to the Practitioner Lodgment Service. Discussion focused on members’ current experience, ELS form closure dates, and progressing increased portal and software services for tax practitioners.

    The BAS Agent Association Group met on 29 August 2017 and discussed:

    • an overview of the Cash Flow Management Program, evaluation findings and the next steps for delivery and implementation
    • Single Touch Payroll update on the limited release and current implementation timeline and design including;  
      • the Business Implementation Guide
      • draft Exemptions and Deferrals Framework for employers and Digital Service Provider’s
      • proposed Declarations and Authorisations plan.
    • Manage ABN connections update including an overview of the outcomes from tax practitioner consultation sessions held in June 2017
    • a discussion on activity statement design improvements in the ATO online platform and the transition plan to generate R, S and T activity statements electronically instead of in paper form.

    The Consultation Steering Group met on 22 August 2017 with discussion including:

    • a conversation with GST Stewardship co-chair Kevin O’Rourke
    • community perceptions towards the tax and superannuation systems and the ATO
    • end to end policy and legislative design process
    • updates from Treasury and Board of Taxation representatives
    • discussions with selected consultation leads on progress of their consultation activities.

    The SuperStream industry engagement forum, hosted in partnership with the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), was held on 29 August with 110 people attending and streamedExternal Link live to over 500 people.

    The forum featured speakers from the ATO and industry, including a keynote address from Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation James O’Halloran. Discussion topics included the release of the SuperStream benefits report, the roadmap of change, ATO system improvements, and the future of fund reporting, which aligned to the reform changes announcedExternal Link by Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

    There was an industry Q&A discussion on working together for better member outcomes, a workshop titled ‘What does the SuperStream business-as-usual landscape look like?’, and a joint ATO/industry panel session on the APRA fund superannuation reporting transformation.

    New matters for consultation

    201752 - First home super saver scheme (FHSSS)

    Purpose: To work through the implementation design of the First home super saver measure with impacted stakeholders.

    201753 - Downsizer contributions to superannuation

    Purpose: To work through the implementation design for this measure aimed at improving housing affordability with impacted stakeholders..

    201756 - Legislative Instrument – PAYG Withholding Variation: Certain superannuation beneficiaries who have not quoted a tax file number

    Purpose: To receive feedback from APRA-regulated funds on draft legislative instrument OPS 2017/D5 ‘PAYG Withholding Variation: Certain superannuation beneficiaries who have not quoted a tax file number’ and its explanatory statement.

    201757 - Transfer Balance Cap and SMSF event based reporting

    Purpose: To outline the ATO’s position on how SMSFs will report under the new transfer balance cap measure in the 2017-18 year and onwards, and to seek industry feedback in relation to how often SMSFs will be required to report events impacting an individual member’s transfer balance account from 1 July 2018; based on two possible alternative options.

    201758 - Draft Practical Compliance Guideline: Propagation arrangements adopted by registerable superannuation entities

    Purpose: To set out the ATO's compliance approach to the use of propagation to select assets for disposal and the circumstances where propagation arrangements satisfy the asset identification principles and record keeping methodologies described in CGT Determination Number 33 (TD 33), and Taxation Rulings TR 96/4 and TR 96/7.

    201759 - Work related expenses

    Purpose: This consultation will:

    • consider the risk associated with clients and tax agents that have claimed work related expenses
    • explore and develop policy initiatives and appropriate administrative treatments that result in accurate and correct return preparation
    • assist the ATO in responding to a number of recommendations contained in the recently released House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics Report on the inquiry into tax deductibility.

    Matters in progress

    Consultation is in progress for 19 matters – for more details see Matters under consultation.

    Completed consultation

    201754 – Remaking legislative instrument – Simplified Accounting Methods Determination (No.X) 2017 for Food Retailers – Business Norms, Stock Purchases and Snapshot Methods

    201749 – Meaning of 'collectables' and 'antiques' when applying GST law to dealings in second-hand goods

    201746 – Draft PCG 2017/D4: ATO compliance approach to taxation issues associated with cross-border related party financing arrangements and related transactions

    For more information about our consultation activities visit our Consultation page.

    Last modified: 21 Sep 2017QC 18224