A report to the Assistant Treasurer
Telephone: (02) 8239 2111
Facsimile: (02) 8239 2100
Level 19, 50 Bridge Street
Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 551
Sydney NSW 2001
21 February 2014
Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO
Canberra ACT 2600
Review into the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) administration of penalties
I am pleased to present you with my report of the review into the ATO’s administration of penalties.
I have made a recommendation for the Government to consider specific opportunities to improve the current tax penalty regime and encourage greater voluntary compliance. These opportunities include further stratification of the existing penalty regime and the compensation for time-value of money on unsustained penalties.
It should be noted that recommendations relating to penalties have also been made to the Government in earlier Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) reviews, particularly the Review into improving the self assessment system. The Government may wish to consider all these recommendations as part of a broader review of the penalty regime.
I have also made nine recommendations to the ATO. These are aimed at improving its penalty decisions, guidance material and identification, collection and analysis of penalty information as well as taxpayer perceptions that penalties may be used as leverage to influence primary tax disputes. The ATO has agreed, in full, in part or in principle, with all of these recommendations. Where the ATO has disagreed, they have sought to address the underlying issues to the extent that they believe their resources allow.
I am grateful for the support, contribution and willingness of many who provided their time, expertise and experience in the conduct of this review.
Inspector-General of Taxation
© Commonwealth of Australia 2014
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