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Release of Inspector-General of Taxation's review of GST audits for large taxpayers.



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RELEASE OF INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF TAXATION'S REVIEW OF GST AUDITS FOR LARGE TAXPAYERS

The Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen MP, today released the Inspector-General of Taxation's report 'Review of the Tax Office's administration of GST audits for large taxpayers'.

The Report examined the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO's) administration of Goods and Services Tax (GST) audits for large taxpayers.

"The Inspector-General noted that the ATO's positive approach and response to this review should result in significant improvements to tax administration," Mr Bowen said.

The ATO has agreed with most recommendations of the Inspector-General. The ATO acknowledges the need for more detailed and transparent reporting of the nature of its GST audit results in the large market and the need to improve its approach to cases dealing with margin scheme valuation issues.

The Inspector-General also recommended that the ATO fully remit general interest charge on revenue neutral transactions. The Inspector-General further recommended that the Government consult with the community on the need for legislative change concerning remission of general interest charge in revenue neutral situations and to address undesirable behaviour through the imposition of a penalty.

"In response to this recommendation, I have asked the Board of Taxation to consider the merits of the Inspector-General's recommendation for legislative change as a part of this review of the legal framework for the administration of the GST which I announced today," Mr Bowen said.

"The Inspector-General also recommended that the ATO review its past remission of the general interest charge in voluntary disclosures cases by large taxpayers. I encourage affected taxpayers to seek a review from the ATO if they have any concerns about the level of general interest charge imposed on their voluntary disclosures."

The Report, which also contains the ATO's response, is available at www.igt.gov.au.