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Internal ATO survey proves need for small business relief



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MADELEINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS

SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES

SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BRAND

INTERNAL ATO SURVEY PROVES NEED FOR SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF

An FOI request has revealed a dramatic slump in the number of small businesses

satisfied with the Australian Tax Office - proving the need for a second tax

commissioner to deal with their appeals.

The ATO’s Single Corporate Perceptions Survey, discovered by an Opposition FOI

request, says overall client satisfaction levels have fallen during the past year,

driven by a 10 percentage point slump, to 71 per cent, in the number of small

businesses satisfied with the quality of service they received.

On August 31, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen announced Labor’s plan to relieve

small business of taxation pressure by appointing a second commissioner to deal

overwhelmingly with appeals from stressed-out businesses.

Labor’s plan will directly benefit Australia’s biggest business sector - particularly

the 30 per cent of businesses who say they are not satisfied with current services.

The need for Labor’s change has also been underlined by media investigations of

small business concerns and by many stakeholders who want a new second

commissioner, separating out appeals from the people who had made the original

decisions in the ATO.

Under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, more than 4,000 jobs have been

slashed from the Australian Tax Office, making life harder for Australians who just

want to pay their taxes and get on with their work.

BACKGROUND: Key findings of the MilwardBrown annual perceptions survey of

the ATO:

· 71 per cent were satisfied with ATO services - down 4 points from the year

prior, driven mainly by lower SME satisfaction (down 10 points to 71 per cent over

the year) and lower satisfaction with the ATO’s online services (down 11 points to

66 per cent).

· SMEs said they ‘strongly agree’ that ratings have worsened across two

aspects of the audit process: being treated respectfully (down 22 points to 42 per

cent) and staff being easy to deal with (down 22 points to 35 per cent).

MONDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: JOHN ARTHUR - 0411 554 480