Govt committee seeking business leaders' views on the ATO

THE Australian Parliament's House Tax and Revenue Committee review of the Australian Taxation Commissioner’s Annual Report for 2016–2017 is seeking final comments on the administration of Australia's tax system.

The committee’s annual review of the performance of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) tests ATO reportage against evidence from taxpayers, tax experts, professionals and agency scrutineers, such as the Australian National Audit Office. 

During the reporting period the ATO faced a series of setbacks. Major system outages occurred in late 2016, and again in February 2017. These were followed in May by Operation Elbrus revelations of alleged tax fraud.

Then, in April 2018, news reports on the ATO’s treatment of tax debt among several small and medium businesses, and its media response, brought out further criticism — including from the Inspector-General of Taxation.

Committee chair Jason Falinski MP said the ATO had been asked some tough questions during this review.

“With the inquiry drawing to a close, the committee now makes a final call to taxpayers and other stakeholders for feedback on ATO performance,” Mr Falinski said.

Topics of particular interest to the committee include the ATO’s fairness in management of tax debts and the dispute process, and the impact of IT transformation and platform issues — including blackouts for short durations.

Submissions should be lodged by Tuesday, October 9, 2018 on the committee’s website at or by contacting the committee secretariat on 02 6277 4821.

The 2017 Annual Report of the Australian Taxation Office is available at:



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