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ATO to optimise self-service offerings


A key part of the ATO’s goals in the years ahead will be optimising its self-service offerings for taxpayers and their advisers, according to Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan.

By Emma Musgrave13 minute read

Speaking at the 2021 Institute of Public Accountants National Congress, Chris Jordan said as part of the ATO’s 2024 aspirations it will continue its focus on digital transformation as a way to both become more streamlined, integrated and data-driven, while building trust and confidence at the same time.

“These aspirations drive our efforts to transform into the organisation the community expects of us now and into the future. We are investing in where we want our tax, super and registry systems to be and laying the groundwork for a future where interactions with us are streamlined, connected and easier,” Mr Jordan said.


“You play an important role in driving improvements to the system, for you and your clients. We have IPA representatives on our consultative forums and working groups, and we welcome their valuable feedback. Co-creation is important to us. We know if we want a solution to work, we must listen, understand the real issues and develop solutions everyone gets value from – not just the ATO.

“As part of our 2024 aspirations, we have identified a range of strategic initiatives, or programs of work, to get us there.”

A primary goal, according to Mr Jordan, is to optimise the ATO’s self-service offerings.

“Our focus is on optimising our self-service offerings for taxpayers and their advisors, which will improve your experience when interacting with the ATO. This includes addressing pain points, streamlining processes, and providing you and your clients with greater visibility of client data,” he said.

“The ATO has a deep respect for your role in the tax system. The support, advice and guidance you provide your clients is fundamental to upholding the integrity of our tax and super systems. There will always be a need, particularly among businesses, for professional support interpreting and navigating tax, super and registry. You have shown just how critical this support is by helping many of your clients weather one of the harshest periods they have ever faced. Though digitisation simplifies tax processes, tax-technical expertise will always be of high value to the community.

“In the Digital Age, change is constant. Since joining the ATO, I have driven the organisation to put the client at the centre of all we do, and that means our systems and services need to keep pace with the times. Clients and their representatives can now access a range of services online and expect a similar level of contemporary service from government.”

Going forward, Mr Jordan urged the tax profession to back the ongoing delivery of these digital changes set to become the norm in the coming years.

“Improving our digital services benefits everyone, including you. We want to enable you to focus on areas of higher value, like working with your clients to best position their businesses for success,” he said.

“Our transformation is an ongoing journey and it’s one we need you on board for. The pandemic forced us all to roll out solutions at great speed, accelerating digital adoption. While we can’t maintain that pace forever, we must keep our foot on the accelerator and ensure our clients are brought up to speed to secure our recovery from COVID-19. We need your help in fostering the right environment for future growth, and part of that is embracing changes to how we administer the system.”


ATO to optimise self-service offerings
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Emma Musgrave

Emma Musgrave


Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.

A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).

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