The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue has released a report on taxpayer engagement. In this report, the Committee examined the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) points of engagement with taxpayers and reviewed its performance against advances made by revenue agencies in comparable nations.

The report highlights the changes in the tax system in the digital age, and how digitisation of tax lodgement processes, of financial interactions and information, as well as budget pressures have made it into a different business for governments and taxpayers within the last two decades. Against this background, the report explores what taxpayers should now expect from a modern tax service which is largely or partly automated.

The Committee put forward several recommendations including the following. The Committee recommends that:

  • A review of Australia’s tax system should be undertaken before 2022, with the purpose of making recommendations on how to simplify the present tax system, in order to reduce both the quantum of tax law and improve comprehension and compliance by people without expertise in taxation law.
  • The ATO should continue to deploy behavioural insights approaches to increase taxpayer engagement.
  • The ATO should continue to expand the availability of technical initiatives such as simplified electronic lodgement systems for businesses and individuals.
  • The ATO should engage with all service providers according to the principle of competitive neutrality, allowing taxpayers the ultimate choice of which channel of access or service to use, and which channel is in their best interests.

To read the complete list of recommendations and the full report, click here.

(Source: Parliament of Australia | Media Release)

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