The Terms of Reference for the case study phase of this review were as follows.
In accordance with subsection 8(1) of the Inspector-General of Taxation Act 2003, the Inspector-General conducts the following review on his own initiative.
- Within each and across all the following three case studies the Inspector-General will identify issues which, when addressed, will improve the Tax Office's handling of major, complex issues into the future:
- research and development syndication arrangements;
- living away from home allowances (LAFHAs); and
- service entity arrangements.
- Each case study will focus on:
- the timeframes to identify and deal with the issue;
- the nature and cause of those timeframes, and if they were reasonable in the circumstances;
- the extent and cause of uncertainty to affected taxpayers, including any initial Tax Office guidance or representations;
- the Tax Office's approaches to the issue, the reasons for them, and if they were reasonable in the circumstances, including:
- its compliance, legal and resolution approaches; and
- its communications with members of the community; and
- the adverse impacts and costs that the Tax Office's approaches and timeframes may have had on businesses and other areas of the community.
The Inspector-General foreshadowed that a further report drawing together consistent themes from the three case studies (the fourth report) would be prepared in due course as a vehicle for introducing changes aimed at delivering broader systemic improvements. The report on each case study made recommendations to address issues regarding the case study itself. The case studies also identified issues for consideration in this fourth report.