Go to top of page

Building Community Awareness

Building community awareness of our office — especially our roles and functions — is a key immediate priority.

This need was acknowledged by Recommendation 5 of the SELC Report

Recommendation 5 — The SELC 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.

We have already increased our stakeholder engagements and commenced other work to raise community awareness of our services. This includes industry and professional presentations and webinars, attending tax discussion groups, University and Tax Clinic presentations, developing our website content and its organisation, messaging through our IGoT News eNewsletter and other social media.

The IGTO also presented at a number of forums, conferences and symposiums both domestically and internationally and engaged with stakeholders during these and other events.

An initial refresh of the IGTO website has been undertaken, making it more user friendly and interactive. Further progress is expected in FY21.

A principled framework for articulating the community’s expectations for improved tax administration

A principled framework was developed in draft and implemented after extensive community consultation. We have received feedback on the framework from various stakeholders — mainly from professional bodies — which suggests that it achieves its purpose. A copy of the framework is included in Appendix 2. The IGTO welcomes ongoing comments and feedback from the community — taxpayers, tax practitioners and industry and professional bodies.

Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of resolving taxation complaints for the community

The IGTO, ATO and TPB are independent agencies. Each agency has its own complaints investigation processes. The IGTO encourages all taxpayers and practitioners, if they have not done so, to reach out to the ATO and the TPB in the first instance to try and resolve any concerns or complaints. This has been a feature of our online complaints form.

The IGTO commenced tracking category 3.1 complaints in July 2018 – that is, where the ATO has no record of a previous complaint. Between July 2018 and June 2020, in approximately 86% of these complaints lodged with the IGTO online, the taxpayer had indicated (and thought) they had (in fact) lodged a complaint with the ATO.

Figure 4: Percentage of web complaints lodged with the IGTO where the ATO has no record of a complaint but the taxpayer indicates they had lodged a complaint with the ATO A figure of the percentage of web complaints lodged with the IGTO where the ATO has no record of a complaint but the taxpayer indicates they had lodged a complaint with the ATO

The IGTO is committed to independently assure and investigate taxation complaints raised by the community. This includes improving the administration of taxation complaints generally. This in turn also means raising taxpayer awareness about the formal complaint investigation options available to resolve tax complaints. This is summarised in Figure 5 below.

Figure 5: Overview of taxation complaints A figure of the overview of taxation complaints

An overview of our story so far is depicted in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Our story so far A figure of the IGTO story so far