The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) undertook this review to examine the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) implementation of those recommendations with which the ATO had agreed in the following five reports released between August 2009 and November 2010:
- Review of the Tax Office's Administration of Public Binding Advice (publicly released 7 August 2009);
- Review into the Underlying Causes and the Management of Objections to Tax Office Decisions (the Objections Review, publicly released 11 August 2009);
- Review into the Non-lodgement of Individual Income Tax Returns (publicly released 16 October 2009);
- Review into Aspects of the Tax Office's Settlement of Active Compliance Activities (the Settlements Review, publicly released 1 December 2009); and
- Review into the ATO's Administration of the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (publicly released 24 November 2010).
Such a review of the implementation of agreed recommendation is also referred to as a 'follow up' review. It involves consideration of a range of ATO materials, processes and management representations to assess the degree to which agreed recommendations have been implemented.
In these follow up reviews, the IGT does not seek to re-review the effectiveness of the recommendations which were not fully implemented or where the underlying systems, policies or law had subsequently and substantially changed. In such circumstances, broad community concerns may necessitate the conduct of a fresh review in the future.
Overall, the IGT has concluded that the agreed recommendations in the reports considered have either been implemented by the ATO, in whole or part, have prompted ATO action toward the realisation of intended improvements or will be examined in later IGT reviews.
The IGT has also listed the recommendations made for the previous Government's consideration in appendix 2 and has noted the action taken in relation to three of these recommendations.
It should be noted that no further follow up review is anticipated with respect to existing or future reviews as this function is now being performed by the ATO's Audit and Risk Committee whose members include independent professionals from the private sector. However, the IGT has reserved the right to conduct follow up or fresh reviews where concerns emerge with respect to the implementation of agreed recommendations.