Australian Taxation Office
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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is an Australian
statutory agency A statutory authority is a body set up by law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced ...
and the principal revenue collection body for the
Australian Government The Australian Government, also known as the Commonwealth Government, is the national government of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the ...
. The ATO has responsibility for administering the Australian federal taxation system,
superannuation A pension (, from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...
legislation, and other associated matters. Responsibility for the operations of the ATO are within the portfolio of the
Treasurer of Australia The Treasurer of Australia (or Federal Treasurer) is a high ranking official and senior minister of the Crown in the Government of Australia The Australian Government, also known as the Commonwealth Government, is the national governme ...
and the Treasury. As the Australian government's principal revenue collection body, the ATO collects
income tax An income tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelate ...
, goods and services tax (GST) and other federal taxes. The ATO also has responsibility for managing the Australian Business Register, delivering the Higher Education Loan Program, delivering many Australian government payments and administering key components of Australia's superannuation system.


History

During the colonial period of the 1800s, a number of landholders had secured large tracts of arable land in Australia. After the states federated in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia, the Commonwealth's main source of revenue was derived from indirect customs and the excise on duties on locally manufactured and imported goods. The
Labor Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth, the delivery of a baby * Labour (human activity), or work ** Manual labour, physical work ** Wage labour, a socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer Literature * Labor (journal), ''L ...
Andrew Fisher Andrew Fisher (29 August 186222 October 1928) was an Australian politician who served three separate terms as Prime Minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either th ...

Andrew Fisher
government was elected at the 1910 federal election and was concerned about large swathes of the country being under-utilised. The government introduced the first federal tax laws – the ''
Bank Notes Tax Act 1910 The ''Bank Notes Tax Act 1910'' was an Act of the Parliament of Australia which imposed a prohibitive tax on banknotes issued by banks in Australia. The Act was enacted in October 1910 by the Second Fisher Ministry, Fisher Labour Government unde ...
'', the '' Land Tax Act 1910'' and the '' Land Tax Assessment Act 1910'' – to break up the large estates. George McKay was appointed the first Commissioner of Land Taxation on 11 November 1910. The first
tax return A tax return is the completion of documentation that calculates an entity’s or individual's income earned with the amount of tax payable to the government, government organizations or to potential taxpayers. Specific tax forms can be used b ...
forms were issued on 10 January 1911 so that landholders could be assessed for their
land tax A land value tax (LVT) is a levy on the value of land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and c ...
liabilities. The tax was not popular, but a
High Court of Australia The High Court of Australia is Australia's apex court The supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, and hi ...

High Court of Australia
challenge to the land tax found the law to be constitutional. The associated land valuations were contentious with more than 1,800 appeals and objections received by the middle of 1913. In his first year, commissioner McKay had underneath him 105 tax officers, assessed approximately 15,000 land tax returns and collected £1.3 million to £1.4 million. Over the next decade, the government introduced several new taxes, mainly to cope with the massive cost of Australia's collecting revenue to fund participation in World War I. By the end of the decade, the department employed 1,565 people and collected approximately £10.45 million in taxes. According to its 2013–14 Annual Plan, the ATO employs an average of 22,022 people. In the 2012–13 financial year, the ATO collected revenues totalling $313.082 billion in individual income tax, company income tax, goods and services (GST) tax, excise and others. Former employee Richard Boyle has alleged that there was a culture within the ATO to increase the use of
garnishee notices Garnishment is a legal process for collecting a monetary Judgment (law), judgment on behalf of a plaintiff from a defendant. Garnishment allows the plaintiff (the "garnishor") to take the money or property of the debtor from the person or institut ...
, which allow the ATO to access funds in the bank accounts of taxpayers. This was investigated by the Inspector-General of taxation,
Ali Noroozi Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...
. Noroozi's findings included concerns that small businesses were not given enough time to react to a garnishee notice before having their funds seized. The ATO was criticized for attempting to suppress Boyle's revelations with a
non-disclosure agreement #REDIRECT Non-disclosure agreement#REDIRECT Non-disclosure agreement A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement (CA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), proprietary information agreement (PIA) or secrecy agre ...
and accusing him of 66 offences related to breach of privacy. The ATO was the first Australian Government agency to introduce a
virtual assistant remote control In electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow ...
using
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstra ...

artificial intelligence
on it
website
(see Artificial intelligence in government).


Commissioner

Chris Jordan was appointed Commissioner of Taxation and Registrar of the Australian Business Register on 1 January 2013. Jordan has experience in the tax arena having held influential roles in the private sector and as a government advisor. He was the chair of the Board of Taxation from June 2011 to December 2012 and a member of the Board since its inception in September 2000. Previously, he held the Chair of KPMG New South Wales and Partner in charge of the New South Wales Tax and Legal Division of KPMG. He also served as chair of the Business Tax Working Group and Chair of the New Tax System Advisory Board. The Australian Taxation Office has been headed by twelve Commissioners of Taxation: * George McKay – 1910–16 * Robert Ewing – 1917–39 *
Lawrence Jackson Lawrence Christopher Jackson (born August 30, 1985) is a former American football defensive end who played in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college ...
– 1939–46 * Patrick McGovern – 1946–61 * John O'Sullivan – 1961–63 * Daniel Canavan – 1963–64 * Edward Cain – 1964–76 * William (Bill) O'Reilly – 1976–84 * Trevor Boucher – 1984–93 *
Michael Carmody Michael Joseph Carmody is a retired senior Australian public servant. He was the Commissioner of Taxation of the Commonwealth of Australia from January 1993 to 31 December 2005 and the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Customs and Border ...
– 1993–2005 * Michael D'Ascenzo – 2005–12 * Chris Jordan – 2013–present


Organisational structure

The Commissioner of Taxation is responsible for the general administration of the tax system and the ATO. The Commissioner of Taxation and three Second Commissioners of Taxation are each appointed for a term of seven years. The Commissioner and Second Commissioners are eligible for re-appointment after each term. The current Commissioner of Taxation is Chris Jordan (appointed in January 2013), the previous Commissioner was Michael D'Ascenzo. The overall strategic direction of the organisation is set by the ATO Executive Committee, which is composed of the Commissioner, three Second Commissioners, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Service Delivery Officer, and Chief Finance Officer. These roles are currently held by; * Chris Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation and Registrar of the Australian Business Registry * Jeremy Hirschhorn, Second Commissioner * Deb Jenkins, Second Commissioner * Ramez Katf, Second Commissioner and Chief Information Officer * Jacqui Curtis, Chief Operating Officer * Melinda Smith, Chief Service Delivery Officer * Janine Bristow, Chief Finance Officer Furthermore, the ATO's operations are managed through five groups which are led by members of the executive. These groups are: * Client Engagement, led by Second Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn. * Law Design and Practice, led by Second Commissioner Deb Jenkins. * Service Delivery and Business Reporting and Registrations, led by Chief Service Delivery Officer Melinda Smith. * Enterprise Solutions and Technology, led by Second Commissioner and Chief Information Officer Ramez Katf. * Enterprise Strategy and Corporate Operations, led by Chief Operating Officer Jacqui Curtis. Groups are further divided into business and service lines (BSLs) which are responsible for the delivery of group priorities.


Performance

The Commissioner of Taxation is required to prepare and release an annual report each financial year. The annual report outlines the ATO's performance and achievements for each financial year. Table 1.1 ATO net tax collections 2008–09 FY to 2012–13 FY (in $m)


Legislation

*
Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 The Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (colloquially known as ITAA36) is an statute, act of the Parliament of Australia. It is one of the main statutes under which Income tax in Australia, income tax is calculated. The act is gradually being rewritte ...
*
Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 The ''Income Tax Assessment Act 1997'' is an statute, act of the Parliament of Australia. The act is one of a few statutes used in Australia to calculate income tax assessments. History The act was passed in an attempt to provide a rewritte ...


See also

* Business activity statement *
List of Australian government entities This list of Australian government entities is of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the isl ...
*
Tax file number A tax file number (TFN) is a unique identifier issued by the Australian Taxation Office The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is an Australian statutory agency and the principal revenue collection body for the Australian Government. The ATO has res ...
*
TaxPack TaxPack is a booklet issued by the Australian Taxation Office The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is an Australian statutory agency and the principal revenue collection body for the Australian Government. The ATO has responsibility for administ ...


References


External links


Australian Taxation Office

ATO Facebook profile

ATO Twitter profile


* ttp://www.ato.gov.au/taxprofessionals/content.aspx?doc=/content/53636.htm&pc=001/001/002/009&mnu=39504&mfp=001/005&st=&cy= Annual reports
Taxpayers' Charter
{{Authority control Revenue services Commonwealth Government agencies of Australia Taxation in Australia Federal law enforcement agencies of Australia, Taxation Office Government agencies established in 1910 1910 establishments in Australia