Upcoming ATO open forums for practitioners

As part of its ongoing engagement with tax practitioners, the ATO has announced some upcoming ATO open forums for practitioners. It will again be holding these open forums in a range of locations across Australia between September and December 2017.

Open forums are an opportunity for tax practitioners to have an open two-way dialogue with the ATO, allowing 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:

  • its current focus for tax practitioners including
  • updates on the practitioner lodgment service (PLS)
  • work-related expenses
  • the latest updates on Single Touch Payroll
  • improving online services and the Tax and BAS agent portals
  • superannuation survival guide
  • a practical guide to help you navigate the super changes and incorporate them into your business practice.
  • employer obligations including
  • an update on the working holiday makers law change
  • an extension of taxable payments annual reporting to new industries
  • quick tips for engaging contractors.
  • debt
  • how to benefit from early engagement with us including transparency of tax debt
  • current Tax Practitioners Board issues affecting your practice including
  • cyber security
  • authorisation to lodge
  • black economy taskforce.

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

How to participate
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 (scroll down for link to register):

State/territory Area Date Local time
NSW
Penrith 10 October 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Chatswood 12 October 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Lismore 28 November 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
VIC Werribee 5 September 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Lorne 4 October 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Ballarat 25 October 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Shepparton 9 November 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
Footscray 6 December 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
WA
Busselton 29 November 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
QLD
Sunshine Coast – BAS agents only 5 October 2017 9.00am–noon
Sunshine Coast – tax agents only 5 October 2017 1.00pm–5.00pm
Townsville 15 November 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
Cairns 16 November 2017 7:30am–11:30am
Brisbane 1 November 2017 9.00am–1.00pm
SA Victor Harbor 18 October 2017 9.30am–1.30pm
ACT Canberra 5 December 2017 9.00am–1.00pm

Go to this ATO webpage to register.