Appendix 1 — List of recommendations made by the Senate Economics Legislation Committee in its inquiry into Performance of the Inspector-General of Taxation
The committee recommends the Australian Government assess whether the IGTO is adequately resourced, both now and into the foreseeable future, to effectively discharge its dual role as the Inspector‑General of Taxation and the Taxation Ombudsman.
The committee recommends the Australian Government consider whether the IGTO's current portfolio arrangements are appropriate, and whether alternative arrangements could improve actual, or perceived, independence.
The committee recommends the Australian Government review the IGTO's current access to the ATO and Tax Practitioners Board's systems, data, and records and considers improving access, where necessary, to further enable it to perform its legislative functions.
The committee recommends the Australian Government consider whether the IGTO should have a formal role to independently advise the minister on the administrative aspects of new tax laws and amendments to existing tax laws.
The committee recommends the Australian Government better publicise the IGTO's ombudsman function through the development of a marketing campaign. Such a campaign should, amongst other things, clarify how the IGTO's role interacts with other ombudsmen, such as the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
The committee recommends the Australian Government consider strengthening protections available to individuals who disclose information to the IGTO, regardless of whether the disclosure is in relation to a complaint investigation or systemic review.
The committee recommends the rights of tax officials who are interviewed during investigations undertaken by the IGTO be clarified, and that protections afforded to them be strengthened. This includes providing officials the legal right to choose whether or not they have other persons present when providing information.
The committee recommends the Australian Government ensure that non‑binding recommendations made by the IGTO, in respect of a complaint, be formally responded to within a reasonable time frame and, where a recommendation is not accepted, rationale for the non-acceptance be provided.
The committee recommends the Australian Government clarify which entities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting offences under the IGT Act, such as those created under section 39.
The committee recommends the Australian Government review the IGT Act and its interactions with the Ombudsman Act, with the objective of improving the IGT Act's clarity. Such a review would also include an assessment of the necessity of the exclusion in subsection 7(2) of the IGT Act regarding rules and quantification.
The committee recommends the Australian Government consider the benefits of introducing more formal arrangements between the IGTO and Australian Tax Clinics, as well as improving the model for inter-agency collaboration to permit joint investigations.
The committee recommends an independent review of the PID Act be undertaken in 2021, which includes consideration of establishing a single whistleblower authority.
The committee recommends the IGTO be made an 'investigative agency' under the PID Act.
The committee recommends the IGTO be made an 'eligible recipient' under the TAA 1953.
4.82The committee recommends the Australian Government resolve the inconsistencies between the TAA 1953 and the IGT Act regarding taxation officers who make unauthorised disclosures to the IGTO.
The committee recommends the Australian Government remove the requirement for the Tax Commissioner to authorise disclosures by tax officers if an IGTO review has either commenced or is being contemplated.
Appendix 2 — Features of good tax administration
Appendix 3 — Complaints categories for IGTO case management
The IGTO adopts the definition of a complaint as per the joint Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 10002:2014 — An expression of dissatisfaction made to or about an organisation, related to its products, services, staff or the investigation of a complaint, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.
Independent Assistance and Assurance
Insufficient information (i.e. the complainant is unable to provide the IGTO with sufficient information to be able to assist)
Translation/Navigation (i.e. the IGTO helps the complainant to make sense of ATO/TPB explanations, provides independent assurance regarding ATO/TPB actions of concern and/or charts out the options that are open to the complainant)
Referral (i.e. IGTO refers complainant's information to most appropriate agency and/or declines to investigate)
Independent Formal Investigation
ATO has no record of a previous complaint — IGTO identifies issues requiring formal investigation and options for resolution and requires the matter to be dealt with by an identifiable ATO/TPB officer providing accountability for the management and resolution of the complaint. IGTO also checks the ATO/TPB's handling of the complaint for satisfactory conclusion
Uncomplicated Cases — IGTO investigates independently, engages with the ATO to verify facts and issues, determines the most appropriate and timely actions, and identifies who will take them for early resolution
Frequently Raised Issues — IGTO identifies the case as involving a common area of complaint that is capable of being resolved efficiently and effectively through pre-agreed investigation processes
Complex Cases — IGTO undertakes deeper inquiry and investigation to surface relevant evidence and determine the most appropriate options for resolution
High Complex Cases — IGTO investigates by engaging directly with ATO senior executive management (SES), and provides ATO senior executive management with early warning of emerging risks and the opportunity to address sensitive issues
Appendix 4 — Agency resource statement
Inspector-General of Taxation resource statement for FY20
Actual available appropriation for 2019–20
Annual appropriations — ordinary annual services1
Annual appropriations — other services — non-operating3
Total departmental annual appropriations
Total resourcing and payments for the IGT
1 Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2019–20 and Appropriation Act (No. 3) 2019-20. This may also include prior-year departmental appropriation and section 74 external revenue.
2 Includes an amount of $30,000 for the Departmental Capital Budget which is not separately identified in Appropriation Bill (No.1, 3, 5) and forms part of ordinary annual services items. For accounting purposes, this amount has been designated as a 'contribution by owner'.
3 No other services — departmental non-operating appropriations were received in 2019–20.
Appendix 5 — Expenses for outcomes
Expenses for Inspector-General of Taxation Outcomes
Outcome 1: Improved tax administration through investigation of complaints, conducting reviews, public reporting and independent advice to Government and its relevant entities.
Program 1.1: Inspector-General of Taxation
s74 External Revenue1
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year2
Total expenses for Outcome 1
Average staffing level (number)3
* Full-year budget, including any subsequent adjustment made to the 2019–20 budget at Additional Estimates.
1 Estimated expenses incurred in relation to receipts retained under section 74 of the PGPA Act.
2 Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year are made up of depreciation expenses, amortisation expenses, and audit fees.
3 Refer to Tables 7,8,11,13 and 15 for staffing levels as at 30 June 2020.