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Wednesday, 01 March 2017

The Inspector General of Taxation (IGT) has published his Work Program for 2017. Among issues which the IGT will examine during the year are the Australian Tax Office’s administration of GST refunds and how it operates the Pay As You Go (PAYG) Instalments system.

The IGT work program sets out the areas of tax administration that will be reviewed over the coming year.

In its review of Goods and Services Tax Refunds the IGT said that “since 2012, the ATO’s discretion to withhold Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds for verification has been governed by section 8AAZLGA of the Taxation Administration Act 1953. The provision allows the ATO to retain a refund until it is no longer reasonable to require verification. Complaints data and submissions to the work program have indicated that the ATO’s administration of this provision may, in some instances, result in inappropriate and unfair delays in GST refunds being issued. “This review will examine the ATO’s administrative approaches, the impact on taxpayers and the need for any administrative or policy improvements.”

On the Pay As You Go Instalments system it said the PAYGI system “requires taxpayers with business and/or investment income to make regular payments towards their expected income tax liability. Submissions and complaints received suggest that the system is generating confusion and misunderstanding for certain taxpayers who are required to make these payments. The interactions between the PAYGI and income tax systems as well as the related correspondence will be explored to identify potential opportunities for improvement.”

The IGT will also conduct a review of the ‘Future of the Tax Profession’ in response to a request from the Commissioner of Taxation. It said “This review will be forward-looking and will examine the future role of tax professionals in the tax system particularly in light of increased use of digital technology and ATO service delivery initiatives. In doing so, the IGT will also examine concerns raised by tax practitioners with the IGT on issues affecting their industry.”


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IGT: IGT Work Program 2017

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