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Wednesday, 21 August 2002
Page: 3527


Senator Harris asked the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, upon notice, on 22 May 2002:

(1) How many Australian Taxation Office (ATO) employees, staff or management, personally or through an adviser, are investors in mass-marketed tax effective schemes.

(2) What schemes are involved in (1).

(3) Will those schemes in (1) receive favourable treatment when being re-assessed by the ATO.

(4) Do ATO officers receive bonuses; if so, are bonuses paid on the issuing of re-assessment notices relating mass-marketed tax effective schemes.


Senator Coonan (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) The Commissioner of Taxation has advised me that due to secrecy and privacy issues he is not prepared to release the information requested. He added that he would not release any similar information requested on a `per employer' basis.

(3) No. All schemes considered to be mass marketed and fitting within parameters outlined by the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Mass Marketed Schemes and Investor Protection are receiving the same treatment. That is, eligible investors who settle are entitled to a deduction for the actual cash outlaid, with nil penalty and interest and two years interest free, provided they enter into an agreed payment arrangement.

(4) The ATO is party to industrial agreements which provide eligible officers with access to performance pay through a performance management system. Performance pay is based on the employee's annual appraisal which includes an assessment against business outcomes. Payments are not made based on a criterion involving numbers of amendments issued to mass marketed scheme participants.