In light of the proposed superannuation measures and the government’s digital agenda, the ATO has announced it will look to restructure its processes to allow greater transparency and self-service access to tax information.
Tax Office to ramp up ‘self-service’ options
In a speech at the ASFA national superannuation conference, ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said following the new superannuation measures, it is clear that real-time information is an increasingly necessary expectation that will continue to demand all of the ATO’s attention.
“Perhaps not unlike other service expectations, including the government’s digital agenda, we need to strive to not just improve processes but to transform services to allow transparency and self-service, much quicker than perhaps any of us anticipated,” Mr O’Halloran said.
He added that the ATO also has plans to transform its risk and compliance approach.
“More broadly, from the ATO’s perspective, the accuracy of client accounts and registry information [is] central to how we work with you to manage risk and compliance in our role as a co-regulator and administrator, and is an ongoing focus.”
Mr O’Halloran said the corporate regulator is seeking to mitigate certain risks through early engagement and behavioural changes. He outlined the specific risks the ATO will be closely monitoring across super funds, particularly APRA-regulated funds.
“Firstly, there is a risk that super funds fail to fulfil their reporting obligations, causing delays and incorrect ATO assessments, culminating in both reduced individual benefits and government revenue,” he said.
“Secondly, poor or outdated information increases the risk that accounts will become lost or unclaimed, and the third risk area is the risk to member benefits and their correct calculations and obligations, be it in the application of superannuation law or income tax.”