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A report to the Assistant Treasurer

December 2007


Telephone: (02) 8239 2111
Facsimile: (02) 8239 2100

Australian Government - Inspector-General of Taxation crest

Level 19, 50 Bridge Street
Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 551
Sydney NSW 2001

19 December 2007

The Hon Chris Bowen MP
Assistant Treasurer
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister

I am pleased to present to you my report in respect of the review into the Tax Office’s implementation of agreed recommendations included in the first six reports prepared by my office.

The review was announced on the 29 June 2006. This report has been prepared under section 10 of the Inspector-General of Taxation Act 2003.

I have provided the Commissioner of Taxation with the opportunity to respond to the report’s findings. The Tax Office’s response is in Appendix 3 to the report.

The Tax Office agreed wholly or in part to implement 65 of the 73 recommendations made in the six reports. The main focus of the review was to investigate to what extent the Tax Office has implemented the agreed recommendations. I am pleased to report that the Tax Office has implemented or made significant progress with the vast majority (62 of the 65) of the agreed recommendations.

This outcome is a positive reflection on the valuable contribution of information, time and support by taxpayers and their advisers, the outcomes of the work of my office and fulfilment of my role, and on the Tax Office’s own commitment to improving tax administration. This is a true community partnership in seeking to improve Australia’s tax administration systems.

This review has taken somewhat longer that I would have liked; but I note that the process has been akin to undertaking six separate reviews — albeit of a smaller scale than the norm. This has tended to multiply the time taken to obtain information, undertake consultation and allow the Tax Office time required under our protocol to comment on draft chapters. Detailed field work has also been undertaken to test implementation status of many recommendations.

This thorough approach has given me confidence in the overall positive findings and also that my reviews have led to significant improvements in tax administration.

In due course I will undertake a follow-up of the five reviews that have been completed since May 2006 (which were therefore outside the scope of this review) and other reviews currently underway.

In the report I have acknowledged the assistance of the many Tax Office staff who provided both time and information in support of the review process.

Yours faithfully

[SIGNED]

David Vos AM
Inspector-General of Taxation


Reviewer

Peter Glass


© Commonwealth of Australia 2007

ISBN 0 642 74415 7