As part of its ongoing engagement with tax practitioners, the ATO will again be holding open forums in a range of locations across Australia between March and June 2017.

Open forums are an opportunity for tax practitioners to have an open two-way dialogue with the ATO, and allow it to share information on matters of key importance, and to hear directly from tax practitioners about matters that are affecting them.

The ATO says the intent of the forums is to:

  • hear directly from practitioners about matters affecting them and their practice, as well as the broader tax professional community
  • provide an opportunity to raise questions for discussion and interact with the ATO in an open environment
  • allow ATO representatives to share information on matters of key importance.

What is to be discussed
The ATO says that current discussion points cover, but are not limited to:

  • Services and support for tax practitioners including:
    • the practitioner lodgment service (PLS)
    • improving online services and the tax and BAS agent portals
    • Simpler BAS.
  • Digital services, including:
    • the latest on Single Touch Payroll
    • updates on authentication options and the ATO app.
  • Employer obligations, including:
    • the backpackers tax change and what it means for you and your clients
    • taxable payments annual reporting.
  • Improving your client’s payment experience, including:
    • introducing “purposeful first action” – providing earlier and more tailored engagement
    • new policy announcement on transparency of tax debt.
  • Helping your clients prepare for the introduction of the superannuation changes, which start on July 1, 2017.
  • Your registration with the Tax Practitioners Board.

Attendance at an open forum may contribute towards continuing professional education (CPE) with the Tax Practitioners Board.

How to participate

Go to this ATO web page to register.

The schedule of open forums is updated regularly and numbers are limited for each forum. The following open forums are scheduled for the coming months:

State/territory Area Date Local time
NSW Wagga Wagga 9 March 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Hurstville 16 March 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Dubbo 11 April 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Manly 28 April 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Sydney CBD 22 June 2017 8.30am–12.30pm



NT Darwin 6 June 2017 7.30am–11.30am
QLD Beenleigh 2 March 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Chermside 12 April 2017 5.30pm–9.30pm
Gold Coast 27 April 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Brisbane Bayside 14 June 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Toowoomba 15 June 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
SA Adelaide 15 March 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Mt Gambier 4 April 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
VIC Traralgon 23 March 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Carlton 29 March 2017 5.30pm–9.30pm
Doncaster 6 April 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Bendigo 12 April 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Melbourne CBD 7 June 2017 8.30am–12.30pm



WA Albany 10 March 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Scarborough 28 March 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Mandurah 20 June 2017 9.30am–1.30pm


Go to this ATO web page to register.