Date posted: 06/07/2023

Tax complaints can assist to improve tax administration

Karen Payne FCA, Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman, shares how complaints to the ATO can improve tax administration

In light of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)’s release of the revised Taxpayer’s Charter, now known as Our Charter, Karen Payne, the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO), shares how complaints to the ATO can improve tax administration.

Raising complaints can assist to improve the ATO’s service. Every complaint offers an opportunity to turn negative situations and experiences into positive ones and, when tracked, monitored and analysed, the collective issues raised provide valuable insight and feedback to identify where there are opportunities to improve taxation administration and the tax system more generally. 

Therefore, it is crucial that you lodge a formal complaint with the ATO to ensure your complaint forms part of the dataset to inform the ATO of complaint trends and issues.  

In Our Charter, the ATO has confirmed that making a complaint will not affect your relationship with them. It is a commitment and direction which all ATO officers must adhere to as part of their engagement and interactions with you and your clients.

If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the IGTO for an independent investigation. The IGTO Dispute investigations can assist to improve taxation administration for you, your clients or the system more generally. 

As part of the IGTO’s broader remit to improve taxation administration, the IGTO monitors, analyses and considers issues arising from dispute investigations and other complaints registered with IGTO.  

Therefore, the IGTO recommendation is to lodge a complaint or dispute if you want to see improvement in tax administration – whether for yourself, your client or the system generally.

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