On 6 April 2020, the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) provided the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with a draft of our report of the investigation into the ATO’s systems and processes for dealing with deceased estates. This step of the IGTO review process allows the Commissioner of Taxation an opportunity to consider and respond to the recommendations. It also accords with a statutory requirement for the IGTO to afford the Commissioner opportunities to make submissions on any expressed or implied criticisms or factual errors contained in the draft report.
The usual period for an ATO response to an IGTO draft report is 4 weeks (as per the IGTO-ATO Review Operational Guidelines). However, the IGTO considers that it would be appropriate to extend the response timeframe to 8 weeks – until 29 May 2020. This is in recognition of the Easter break and school holidays and the fact that a number of the ATO officers involved in the review are currently undertaking critical COVID-19 response work.
The IGTO will aim to finalise and publish the report together with the official ATO response to our recommendations before 30 June 2020.