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A review of tax administration in Australia: inquiry into the 2018-19 Commissioner of Taxation Annual Report

Issue date: Tuesday, 26 October 2021

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The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue has today presented its report titled 2018-19 Commissioner of Taxation Annual Report. The report focuses on matters arising over the 2018-19 financial year with further insights on the taxation system more broadly.

In its report, the Committee makes 19 recommendations to deliver better services to taxpayers and improve the efficiency of the administration of Australia’s tax system. Based on the needs of the Australian tax system, the Committee recommends upgrading the Inspector General of Taxation to an office based on the ‘Taxpayer Advocate,’ as developed in the United States of America. The Committee’s recommendations also include proposed amendments to legislation that provides taxpayers with protections when dealing with debts; specifically, to ensure that a debt is not payable until a final determination is made by a relevant dispute body or court.  

Further, the Committee advocates for the use of blockchain and other leading technologies to optimise the use of the Australian Business Register and minimise any ongoing costs of maintaining it. In relation to reporting, the Committee recommends that the Australian Taxation Office provide more detailed reporting for each financial year to reflect both the number of complaints, feedback and compliments received, as well as the complaints resolved within the relevant timeframes.

Committee Chair, Mr Jason Falinski MP, states - ‘I believe this report to be a very important contribution to tax administration in Australia. It highlights a number of legislative frameworks that the government should change in order to provide taxpayers with better service.’

Mr Falinski goes on to say ‘the Australian Taxation Office has undertaken considerable reform and restructuring recently and is staffed by experienced and dedicated people who are to be congratulated for having got us through the economic chasm of COVID. However, some if its functions have been neglected, and moreover, there is considerable expertise in this country, human and technological, waiting to be deployed in many areas of taxation. We encourage urgent intent in this area to get ahead of the global curve.’

A full copy of the Committee’s report can be found on the inquiry’s website.

Media enquiries

Mr Jason Falinski MP
Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue
(02) 6277 2324

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4821

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can, read submissions, find details of upcoming public hearings, and subscribe to receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button on the right side of the page.

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