Australian Government - Australian Taxation Office crest


Mr Ali Noroozi
Inspector-General of Taxation
GPO Box 551

Dear Ali

Review into the Australian Taxation Office's administration of penalties

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the final draft of your report on the review into the Australian Taxation Office's administration of penalties.

We welcome your constructive feedback and note that a number of your recommendations are aimed at achieving greater transparency in the way the ATO applies penalties,

We agree either fully, in principle or in part with nine of the ten recommendations, noting that many of the recommendations have multiple parts. However we disagree with one aspect of one recommendation. I also note that recommendation 2.1 is a matter tor Government

Specifically, in relation to recommendation 4.1(a), while we agree with the objective of the recommendation to increase transparency in the way the ATO applies penalties, we are unable to agree with the particular recommendation. We are not convinced that the recommendation would deliver the hoped for benefits, and the costs of maintaining the database in a way that secures the privacy of the information would be significant, especially given the significant volume of penalty decisions each year, However in lieu of ibis, we have suggested some alternative information that we could publish that we think could complement your other recommendations.

Our detailed response to your recommendations, including the updated recommendations, is attached at Annexure 1.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all involved In undertaking this review.

Yours sincerely


James O'Halloran
Acting Second Commissioner
Australian Taxation Office
17 February 2014

[To minimise space, the annexure to the ATO’s response has not been reproduced here, but has been inserted into the text of this report underneath each of the recommendations to which that text relates.]