Tax & Super Australia (TSA) has welcomed the Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO’s) announcement that it will audit how the ATO supports and engages with tax agents.

The ANAO said the audit’s objective was to assess the effectiveness of the ATO’s engagement with tax agents in achieving efficient and effective tax and superannuation systems.

The two criteria the ANAO proposes to examine are:

  • Does the ATO have an effective strategy for engaging with tax agents?
  • Does the ATO provide effective services and support for tax agents?

TSA chief executive Pippa McKee says any formal steps to identify potential areas to improve how the ATO engages with and supports tax agents are welcome.

“In recent years, TSA has worked closely with members to learn more about how they interact with and are supported by the ATO, and also ways that they believe the relationship could be further enhanced.”

“In particular, members have detailed their experiences with the ATO’s lodgement program and dealing with its dispute, complaints and review process. We have asked them about how well the ATO communicates taxpayer rights, which is also an area that the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman recently investigated.”

“We know that a positive and effective relationship between the ATO and tax professionals is essential to the efficient operation of Australia’s tax and superannuation administration. It benefits everyone – tax professionals, the taxpayers and businesses they represent and the work that the ATO is trying to achieve.”

TSA encourages members to provide feedback to the ANAO.