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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13219


Mr RIPOLL (Oxley) (12:05): by leave—As deputy chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue I jointly table the 2014 annual report Of The Australian Tax Office. As a new member of the committee I acknowledge the work and contribution of the good members of the committee, and in particular the outgoing members. If I could make mention of Dr Jim Chalmers and the good work he did on this report, along with the chair and the secretariat, who have all contributed to a fantastic review of the Australian Taxation Office. The committee also acknowledges the contributions of various stakeholder groups who have provided submissions or evidence to the committee during the recent inquiry into tax expenditure statements.

This report follows an examination of the annual report of the Australian Tax Office. The committee held two hearings into the ATO's 2013-14 annual report, in March and September of this year, and has drawn its evidence from written submissions and from appearances at the hearing. The committee thanks the contribution of officers from the ATO, including Mr Chris Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation, and Mr Ali Noroozi, Inspector General of Taxation.

The committee notes the new client-focussed approach of the ATO and acknowledges the new direction and progress made in the recent period. It is pleasing to note the ATO's improving relationship with tax practitioners regarding issues around the tax agent portal. In particular, it is pleasing to note the role of the committee in providing a forum for working through issues raised by stakeholders that resulted in the ATO introducing the 'push notification' for tax practitioners. The committee acknowledges the ongoing work of the ATO to continue to address unresolved issues as well.

Also as a note, I want to particularly commend the role that the ATO plays in relation to tax help volunteers in pretty much all the offices of federal members across the country. These are good, decent community people who have some expertise in taxation matters who volunteer their time and come in and help ordinary people who otherwise could not afford to pay for tax help or advice. I know members provide space, time and resources. Those volunteers in particular do a great job. An interesting part of the annual report is the sort of assistance and work that is lent by the Australian Taxation Office that is probably unrecognised by most people but is really good work in terms of dealing directly with the community and helping people to better interact with their taxation affairs to make it simpler, cheaper and easier. I commend the tax office and particularly the tax help volunteers for that.

This report also focused on other important aspects of the ATO annual report, including the development of a single-touch payroll, no-touch tax returns, complaints functions and the pursuit of wind-ups and bankruptcies. That is necessary and good work that continues at the Australian Taxation Office. I commend the report to the House.