After a successful 10-year tenure and earlier confirmation that he would not be seeking reappointment for a third term, Mr Ali Noroozi has concluded his role as Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT).

Mr Noroozi was the second IGT since the creation of the office in 2003. During his tenure, the office has grown over four times in size, playing a major role in delivering improvements and reshaping the administration of the Australian tax system.

The Government has thanked Mr Noroozi for showing ‘exemplary leadership since his appointment in 2008, undertaking more than 30 reviews across a broad range of issues, including Australian Taxation Office debt collection, tax disputes, audits, transfer pricing, services to tax practitioners, taxpayer rights, IT upgrades and so-called ‘U-turns’.’

The IGT has also recently completed and released the review of the ATO’s fraud control management.

The future of the IGT

In his valedictory speech, Mr Noroozi recommended measures to grow the IGT in a way such that its current culture, brand and level of service are not compromised; highlighting that independence is paramount to the identity and work of a scrutineer. For these purposes, Mr Noroozi remarked that the independence of the IGT may be bolstered by making his or her appointment for a non-renewable term of 10 years, as is the case with the Auditor-General, and moving the agency out of the Treasury portfolio and having it report directly to Parliament like the Australian National Audit Office. An inherent conflict exists in having both the IGT and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) within the same portfolio, he noted.

Mr Noroozi also recommended for the IGT to be renamed the Taxation Ombudsman, to make it more identifiable amongst those who most need assistance in their disputes with the ATO. Whilst the IGT is well-known in the tax profession, awareness of its services needs to be better promoted amongst small businesses and individuals, including the most vulnerable.

Mr Noroozi previously stated that ‘the role of IGT has enabled me to drive significant change to the administration of the Australian tax system, champion taxpayer rights and assist taxpayers including the most vulnerable in our community’. Mr Noroozi said that he intends to remain active in both public and commercial arenas and has already committed to teaching a subject at the University of Melbourne’s Master of Laws program.

The current Deputy Inspector-General of Taxation, Mr Andrew McLoughlin, will be acting as the Inspector-General of Taxation on a short-term basis from 6 November 2018 until the new Inspector-General begins their term early in 2019.

(Source: Treasury media release | IGT News & Media | IGT Valedictory Speech)

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