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
28 September 2011
The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services & Superannuation
Canberra ACT 2600
Review into the Australian Taxation Office's administration of class rulings
I am pleased to present you with my report of the review into the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO's) administration of class rulings.
Overall, my report observes that the class ruling system is a useful element of the tax system, while also acknowledging that there are areas for improvement. In general, class rulings effectively mitigate operational costs and reduce risk by providing greater administrative certainty to groups of taxpayers.
I have made eight recommendations aimed at improving the administration of the class rulings' processes and related areas, such as case management, reporting, record keeping, external performance standards, communication, transparency, ATO staff awareness of existing procedures and policies and the ATO's Siebel system search functionality.
The ATO has broadly agreed with all my recommendations and has worked internally and with my office to settle on a significant program of work which, when implemented should deliver improvements to the administration of the class rulings system. This reflects the maturing relationship between the two agencies, facilitating agreement on practical and tangible action aimed at improving the tax administration for the benefit for all taxpayers.
I offer my thanks for the support and contribution of taxpayers, professional bodies, industry associations, taxation advisers and individuals 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.
Inspector-General of Taxation
© Commonwealth of Australia 2011
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