Tax assessment to be less taxingA report recommending improvements to Australia’s self assessment taxation system has been released.
Prepared by the Inspector-General of Taxation, the Review into improving the self assessment system was conducted in response to concerns about risks and protections for taxpayers under the self assessment system.
Among the recommendations made in the review was a suggestion that taxpayers be given a reasonable opportunity to review assumptions of fact made by ATO officers in their private rulings, in an effort to ensure the assumptions were correct.
The review also recommended that the Government consider requiring the ATO to synchronise its public binding advice (a published and binding ATO ruling) with the enactment of substantial new tax law.
Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury said the review recognised the importance of providing clear and timely information to taxpayers in supporting Australia's high levels of participation and voluntary compliance.
“The Inspector-General made 33 recommendations to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Government on ways to improve taxpayer certainty, reduce compliance costs and rebalance taxpayer protections,” Mr Bradbury said.
“The ATO agreed with 15 recommendations (in full, in part or in principle) and disagreed with one.
“The Government agrees with 11 recommendations (in full or in principle), disagrees with one and notes the others pending further consideration.”
He said the Inspector-General had identified some key areas where the ATO and Treasury could improve taxpayers' engagement with the self assessment system.
“I would like to thank stakeholders for their contributions to this review and the Inspector-General for his efforts in producing this report," Mr Bradbury said.
The Inspector-General’s full report can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 349, 19 February 2013