The Australian Taxation Office concedes it “hasn’t been quick enough” in the past in bringing out taxpayer alerts and has made them a larger priority in better addressing the tax gap.
ATO flags consultative effort on tax alerts
Speaking at the Tax Institute’s NSW annual tax forum, ATO assistant commissioner Anthony Marvello said the ultimate goal through the taxpayer alerts is to make the tax gap as small as possible to create certainty and confidence in the marketplace.
“I think, in the past, we haven't been quick enough to get out to the market, to identify our concerns,” Mr Marvello said.
“Naturally, you would appreciate, going to government with their large agendas and priorities and then explaining its ... community [impact] and industry implications, consulting with industry sometimes does take a little bit of time.”
On top of releasing the tax alert, Mr Marvello said the more important thing with the tax alerts is following up on them, going out and talking to people and working out what they need to do.
He cited the recent staple business combination tax alert as an example of where it took a more consultative effort.
“Issuing the staple business combination alert took a lot of effort and was a high-level priority, because it’s a fairly fundamental way that business operates,” Mr Marvello said.
“The key thing to the alert is that it does signal that we do have a concern and I think it's important people actually come to us for advice.
“Our advice is always available in relation to those arrangements, and we obviously, naturally, endeavour to keep things out, to settle the matter, and when it also involves legislation or the government we do the work through those processes.”
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