The 2016 Budget: Changes to Tax Administration
New ATO Tax Avoidance TaskForce
A Tax Avoidance TaskForce will be established within the ATO to undertake enhanced compliance activities targeting multinationals, large public and private groups, and high-wealth individuals. $679 million of funding will be provided to the ATO to establish this taskforce over the next four years. The taskforce will work with other government agencies including the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and AUSTRAC.
Employees, former employees and advisers to taxpayers who disclose information on tax avoidance about those taxpayers to the ATO will receive improved protection under the law from 1 July 2018. This includes having their identities protected and being protected from victimisation, criminal prosecution and civil action for disclosing the information.
Tax Transparency Code
The Government is encouraging all companies to adopt the Tax Transparency Code (TTC) from the 2016 financial year. The TTC is a voluntary code that medium and large businesses are encouraged to adopt to encourage greater transparency in the corporate sector, particularly in the current climate with the focus on corporate tax avoidance.
Public sector efficiency review
The operation of the Australian Public Service, including the ATO, will be reviewed to achieve efficiencies and manage their transformation to a more modern public sector.
Specifically in relation to the ATO, over the next four years ATO shopfronts will be reduced in favour of ‘myGov’ shopfronts, digital service delivery will be actively promoted, external compliance assurance processes will be expanded and more efficient processes to externally scrutinise the ATO will be put in place.