The Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan AO, has delivered the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Annual Report 2017-18. The report informs parliament, stakeholders and the community about how the ATO has administered the tax and superannuation systems.

Source: ATO Annual Report 2017-18

Highlights

The Commissioner’s review includes the following tax- and superannuation-related highlights:

  • Collection of gross tax of almost $500 billion and refunds of just over $102 billion. Net tax collections were almost $397 billion, up $37.4 billion (10.4%) over the previous year, with the biggest driver being growth in company collections, up $16 billion on 2016–17.
  • Audit yield of $11.8 billion, representing an increase of $1.6 billion on the previous year. This includes results from the ATO’s taskforce activity – more than $2.8 billion in tax liabilities raised, with over $1.3 billion from multinationals and public groups and over $1.1 billion from wealthy individuals and associated groups, including trusts and aggressive tax planning.
  • Release of tax gap estimates for superannuation guarantee, large corporate income tax, and tobacco duty – making transparent the performance and workings of aspects of the tax and superannuation systems and providing new insights about taxpayer behaviour. The ATO also progressed research and analysis for the gaps related to large and small superannuation funds, and income tax for individuals not in business; released in the first few months of 2018–19.
  • Expansion of the work-related expenses program – to interact with over one million taxpayers in relation to their claims. The ATO used real-time analytics to send ‘nudge’ messages to approximately 230,000 taxpayers (or nearly 7% of myTax users) while they were preparing their return in myTax, asking them to review specific items. As a result, lodgers made adjustments estimated to have saved almost $24 million in revenue.
  • Increased take up of myTax, up 9% on 2017, with over 3.5 million lodgments received from self-preparers representing 20% of the 17.4 million electronic lodgments received.
  • Introduction of the first phase of Single Touch Payroll (STP) for employers with 20 or more employees – providing regular payroll data to the ATO and giving employees visibility of superannuation payments their employer has made on their behalf.
  • Progress of the government’s Superannuation Reform agenda; implementing event based reporting and transitioning the Small Business Clearing House from Department of Human Services to the ATO.
  • Celebrated the 30th year of the Tax Help program – with ATO-trained and accredited volunteers – that have helped more than 1.5 million low income Australians lodge their returns over the life of the program.

Looking forward, the Commissioner said, the ATO’s new corporate plan intends to build trust and confidence in the tax and superannuation systems, achieving a higher level of integration with a streamlined, data-driven organisational approach.

(Source: ATO | Annual Report)

 

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