On 25 January 2018 (one day before Australia Day), the Deputy Commissioner – Indirect Taxation: Tim Dyce, presented the Commissioner’s ‘GST administration annual performance report for 2016–17’ and uploaded the summary set out below.

The principal points were as follows.

  1. The ATO’s collections growth this year, while not quite as high as last year, but has remained consistent with overall consumption of goods and services that are subject to GST.
  2. They raised $59.8 billion in GST cash (excluding non-general interest charge penalties), 4.3% higher than last year. This is the amount that gets distributed to the States each year (and about which there is endless bickering between the States).
  3. A further $2.9 billion in GST liabilities was raised through our direct compliance activities, a 12% decrease on last year’s outcome.
  4. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) raised a further $54.3 million through their compliance activities.
  5. This year, Australia has have seen a number of important legislative decisions, particularly on the sharing economy) and in the precious metal industry (ie. ‘reverse charge’ amendments).
  6. Legislation has also been introduced on digital currency and low value imported goods.
  7. To support our clients with these changes, we have engaged with the community through industry bodies, and published a number of new public advice products, such as the Law Companion Guideline GST on low value imported goods.
  8. Our debt collection activities faced a number of challenges this year, including the impact of natural disasters and a challenging economic environment for small business. As a result, our on-time payment performance has declined slightly, by 1.3%, and collectable debt (still outstanding) is up by 13.5%.
  9. Our focus on early engagement and improvements to the client experience has resulted in a 10.5% decrease in the number of GST collectable debt cases.
  10. We received 291 fewer objections this year, indicating our dispute resolution strategies at the audit stage are proving effective in reducing the need for clients to make a formal objection. Where it is appropriate, we also consider settlement. In 2015–16 we settled 49 cases, and this year we settled 75.
  11. Similarly, the number of cases that result in litigation has also decreased and we have 69 cases on hand at 30 June 2017, 10% less than last year.

26 January 2018

[ATO website: report; FJM; LTN 17, 25/1/18; Tax Month January 2017]


Study Questions (answers below*)

  1. Did the ATO raise nearly $60b in GST revenue in the 2016/17 year?
  2. Did their compliance activities raise more than the previous year?
  3. Does ‘Boarder Protection’ raise some GST revenue?
  4. Did ‘on time payment’ of GST go up?
  5. Did collectable GST debt go up?
  6. Did the number of GST collection cases go up?
  7. Did the number of objections go up?







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