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Chalmers names ‘tax expert’ Rob Heferen as next commissioner


Incoming ATO chief replaces decade-long incumbent Chris Jordan in March.

By Philip King 12 minute read

The Treasurer will appoint Rob Heferen as Commissioner of Taxation for a seven-year term from 1 March, the day after incumbent Chris Jordan finishes his 10-year stint in the role.

Mr Heferen has been CEO of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare since July 2021 and has over 30 years’ experience in public service, including more than a decade in senior leadership roles, the Treasurer said.

He had also previously worked at the ATO and served as deputy secretary of revenue group at the Treasury from 2011–16, where he had responsibility for tax policy, tax legislation and revenue forecasting.


Mr Chalmers said the appointment came after a thorough, methodical and considered selection process, and Mr Heferen was “an outstanding leader and one of the nation’s most experienced tax experts”.

“His diverse experience across policy development and program delivery in a range of portfolios, as well as representing Australia in international forums, including the UN and OECD, will position Mr Heferen well as Commissioner of Taxation,” the Treasurer said.

The role also encompasses the Registrar of the Australian Business Register, the Australian Business Registry Services, and the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets.

He thanked Mr Jordan for an “outstanding contribution to the ATO”.

“His leadership and expertise have helped the ATO manage and shape the tax, excise and superannuation systems through a period of great change for our economy.”

“Among the important initiatives during his time as Commissioner were improved tax compliance efforts targeting multinationals and large corporations, particularly the success of the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce.

Mr Chalmers said the appointment demonstrated the government’s commitment to “ensuring our nation’s key institutions remain world‑class with the right leadership in place to meet current and future challenges”.

Mr Jordan also congratulated Mr Heferen.

“Being Commissioner of Taxation has been the highlight of my career and I am enormously proud of what the ATO has achieved over the past 10 years,” he said.

“My foot remains firmly on the pedal, and I look forward to continuing to deliver leading tax, super and registry services in my final months in this role.”

In a valedictory-style speech at the recent IPA, Mr Jordan said the ATO had completely overhauled its image during his time as commissioner.

“Reflecting on the last decade, I have witnessed an astonishing pace of change and innovation within the organisation,” he said. “I’ve seen the ATO successfully adapt and evolve to meet the many challenges and opportunities.

“Ten years ago, the profession told me how difficult the ATO was. I now hear stories about the relative ease of interacting with us, and their trust and confidence in our professionalism and fairness.”


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Philip King

Philip King


Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

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