Review into the Taxpayers’ Charter and taxpayer protections
There are a broad range of views amongst individual members in respect of these issues. Nevertheless, the BLS submits that:
a) The Taxpayer’s Charter should be redrawn so that it properly distinguishes between the “rights” and “obligations” of taxpayers and the ATO respectively, and the ATO’s service charter. The conflation of those matters in the current Charter leads to confusion about what “rights” and “obligations” are enforceable and what are mere “expectations”.
b) The focus on redress for defective administration should be on making compensation available to the most vulnerable taxpayers in an efficient, timely, and low cost manner.
c) The current mechanisms for compensating the few people who suffer loss or damage as a result of inappropriate ATO actions are adequate, provided that they are properly administered. The BLS suggests that administration may be improved (and be seen to be improved) if the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme) was administered by a third party, such as the Inspector General of Taxation, and the ATO gave an undertaking to abide by the Inspector General’s recommendations.