*Government rejects JCPAA recommendation for transparency in tax policy and legislative problems [48]

In November 2011, the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) tabled its Report 426: Ninth Biannual Hearing with the Commissioner of Taxation. The Government’s response to 2 recommendations of that Report was released on Tue 24.7.2012. The Report’s recommendations included that: ATO notifications to Government flagging potential tax policy or legislative…

Extended ATO compliance focus areas [45]

In addition to the key areas of focus addressed in the Compliance Program for 2012-13, the ATO has also released details of its extended compliance focus areas as at 11 July 2012, including: higher-risk advisory firms and financial institutions; business structure schemes; trust schemes; private company deemed dividend avoidance schemes; international cross-border schemes; aggressive employee…

*ATO releases its 2012-13 Compliance Program [44]

The ATO on Thur 19.7.2012, released its 2012-13 Compliance Program, highlighting the compliance issues attracting ATO attention and what it is doing to address them. The program covers individuals, micro businesses, SMEs, large businesses, Project Wickenby, tax practitioners, superannuation, promoter penalty laws, and non-profit organisations. Focus areas identified by the ATO include: unusually high levels…

*ATO’s strategic direction 2012-13 [43]

The ATO has released details of its operations overview of 2012-13. It contains information on its role, its people, and its resources, as well as revealing its budget of $661.7m (as at 28 May 2012). The document also sets out the ATO’s strategic direction for 2012-13 including: increasing electronic interactions and automated transactions; meeting service…

ATO warns about schemes to access private company profits through dividend arrangements [41]

The ATO on Thur 12.7.2012, issued Taxpayer Alert TA 2012/4 warning taxpayers of arrangements where accumulated profits of a private company are distributed substantially tax-free to an entity associated with the ordinary shareholders of the private company. The ATO said the dividends are generally distributed on a new class of shares which the private company…

Draft PS LA 3582 – Commissioner’s discretion to retain refunds (of any tax) under s8AAZLGA of the TAA [40]

The ATO on Thur 5.7.2012, released Draft Practice Statement PS LA 3582 (Exercise of the Commissioner’s discretion under s 8AAZLGA of the TAA to retain an amount that would otherwise be refunded). It provides guidance to tax officers on when it is reasonable to exercise the Commissioner’s discretion to delay a refund amount pending verification…