Boost public trust and confidence in the ATO through good governance

Taxpayers Australia has called for the appointment of a board of directors to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and increased powers for the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) in a submission to an inquiry on the external scrutiny of the ATO being conducted by the House of Representatives standing committee on Tax and Revenue. Boost public trust and confidence in the ATO through good governance

Taxpayers Australia chief executive officer Moti Kshirsagar said the time has come for the ATO’s governance structure to be aligned with that of other economically significant regulatory agencies.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority all have boards that assist in governance and decision making.

Kshirsagar said the revenue authority’s most recent annual report said the ATO collected $432.3 billion in gross tax receipts.

While that alone should merit the introduction of a governing authority, he said, the fact the ATO’s  powers have increased in the past 12 months necessitates the need for a board to oversee its activities.

“The ATO has recently been given law making powers in its own right. These powers shouldn’t be exercised without appropriate checks and balances,” Kshirsagar said.

Taxpayers Australia has also recommended that the committee reviews the current powers of the IGT, given that the existing regime relies on the goodwill of the ATO to implement recommendations, and that this may not be enough.

“The IGT operates in the public interest, with a view to improving the quality of tax administration. The Commissioner of Taxation is currently free to ignore any recommendations made by the IGT that may fundamentally improve current processes,” said Kshirsagar.

View Taxpayers Australia’s submission here.

ENDS

Note to editors: If you’d like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Taxpayers Australia’s Business Services Manager, Lisa Greig, please call her on (03) 8851 4505 or Roseann Tanner on (03) 8851 4504 or email rtanner@taxpayer.com.au.

Taxpayers Australia is a not-for-profit organisation committed to a fairer and more transparent taxation system for every Australian taxpayer. Its aim is to provide taxation practitioners, superannuation professionals, small businesses and individuals with up-to-date, informative and above all understandable information about taxation – to ensure that every Australian pays the right amount of tax and not a cent more.

Taxpayers Australia is a not-for-profit organisation committed to a fairer and more transparent taxation system for every Australian taxpayer. Its aim is to provide taxation practitioners, superannuation professionals, small businesses and individuals with up-to-date, informative and above all understandable information about taxation – to ensure that every Australian pays the right amount of tax and not a cent more.

Taxpayers Australia is a not-for-profit organisation committed to a fairer and more transparent taxation system for every Australian taxpayer. Its aim is to provide taxation practitioners, superannuation professionals, small businesses and individuals with up-to-date, informative and above all understandable information about taxation – to ensure that every Australian pays the right amount of tax and not a cent more.

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