PDF copy

A report to the Assistant Treasurer

December 2011

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

16 December 2011

Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Sport
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister

Review into the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) compliance approaches to small and medium enterprises with annual turnovers between $100 million and $250 million (larger SMEs) and high wealth individuals (HWIs)

I am pleased to present you with my report on the above review. The review was conducted in response to concerns raised by taxpayers, tax practitioners and their representative bodies following the ATO's increased compliance focus on larger SMEs and HWIs pursuant to its commitment to Government.

Taxpayers' concerns related to unfair treatment and unnecessary compliance costs stemming from the wide scope of ATO information gathering requests, delays as well as a lack of commercial awareness, technical knowledge and conduct of ATO staff. The underlying issue seemed to be a lack of ATO staff capability servicing this market segment.

The ATO has acknowledged the need for improvements to deal with these concerns and since the commencement of the review, it has worked with my office to fashion a significant program of work.

I have made 41 recommendations some of which reinforce the work that the ATO has already begun whilst others are more distinct but complimentary to that work. The ATO has agreed in full with 38 of my recommendations, two in part and disagreed with one.

The implementation of these recommendations together with the program of work already commenced by the ATO should result in significant improvements in this area of tax administration. However, these improvements may not become apparent immediately as staff capability, for example, may take some time to develop.

I offer my thanks for the support and contribution of taxpayers, tax practitioners and their representative bodies to this review. The willingness of many to provide their time in preparing submissions and discussing issues with myself and my staff is greatly appreciated. I also thank the relevant ATO officers for their professional cooperation and assistance in this review.

Yours faithfully


Ali Noroozi
Inspector-General of Taxation

© Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978 0 642 74779 2

Ownership of intellectual property rights in this publication

Unless otherwise noted, copyright (and any other intellectual property rights, if any) in this publication is owned by the Commonwealth of Australia (referred to below as the Commonwealth).

Creative Commons licence

With the exception of the Coat of Arms (see below), the IGT logo and ATO sourced material, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 logo

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence is a standard form licence agreement that allows you to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this publication provided that you attribute the work. A summary of the licence terms is available from the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia. The full licence terms are available from Creative Commons website.

The Commonwealth's preference is that you attribute this publication (and any material sourced from it) using the following wording:

Source: Licensed from the Australian Government Inspector-General of Taxation under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.

The Australian Government Inspector-General of Taxation does not necessarily endorse third party content of this publication.

Use of the Coat of Arms

The terms under which the Coat of Arms can be used are set out on the It's an Honour website.