In his address to the Tax Institute last week, ATO commissioner of taxation Chris Jordan said digital infrastructure will be a focus for the ATO, and will involve “setting up the necessary equipment, systems, technologies, communications and software that will enable people to interact easily in the digital world”.
The ATO also wants the use of information to be fast and sophisticated, he said, through systems that are able to “analyse, predict, anticipate, pre-fill, and generate meaningful risk profiles”.
Other programs include strategies for building capabilities and changing the ATO’s culture and new accountabilities, forums, measures and reporting for reinvention.
“Using the best lever at our disposal - the service we offer - our reinvention program is aimed at improving the client experience, making it easier for people to comply with their obligations, so we can increase willing participation, or voluntary compliance as many describe it, in the tax and super systems,” said Mr Jordan.
“You will see us deliver more new products and services and embed a culture in the ATO that is service-oriented, pragmatic, and conscious that time has a cost.”
Mr Jordan also pointed to some of the areas in which he believes the ATO has made improvements, such as its approach to dispute resolution.
The ATO, he said, has implemented a number of strategies, including early face-to-face or telephone engagement, increased use of alternative dispute resolution, sensible settlement guidelines and an independent review for taxpayers with a turnover of more than $250 million.
“Since implementing these strategies, the average time for handling of objections has reduced by just over 20 per cent, from 73 days at the end of 2012 to now an average of around 58 days,” he said.