The ATO on Friday met with the Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue to outline their intentions under their 2020 strategy due to launch this month.
The 2020 strategy focuses on 5 themes that emerged from a capability review that was conducted last year:
- Having a more long-term vision
- Improving IT systems
- Building a new workforce and culture
- Streamlining governance
- Improving the way the ATO listens to the community
The Commission of Taxation, Chris Jordan, also explained that the ATO is working towards simplifying the tax process and even questioning the necessity to lodge returns in the manner we have traditionally been required to:
“We have information on salary and wages, interest, dividends, Centrelink payments and health. We already have that, so how do we use that? Also, what are the categories of expenses people tend to have and how do we better prefill?” Mr Jordan said.
Second Commissioner, People Systems and Services Group, Mr Leeper said: “For individuals we are looking at how we can streamline the tax return and for companies, especially small businesses and more straightforward company structures, we are looking to see how we can design a standard chart of accounts so that, if a company commits to using it, our computer programs can effectively generate their tax return for them automatically. It is a work in progress, not work finalised.”
Whilst the effects of these changes are yet to be seen, we can expect over the next couple of years significant opportunities for small businesses and individuals to streamline their accounts and compliance costs.