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IGT review into the Future of the Tax Profession

The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT), Mr Ali Noroozi, today announced terms of reference for a review that will examine the future of the tax profession.

“The tax profession has experienced significant change. The rate of this change is only expected to accelerate in future. Importantly, the profession is not alone as this change is driven by a global phenomenon. ‘Digital disruption’ or digital technology through advancements such as artificial intelligence and robotics is changing the very fabric of our society – the way we work, communicate, do business and manage our social interactions,” said Mr Noroozi.

The review is deliberately forward-looking and seeks to raise awareness about the risks, challenges and opportunities presented by technological, social, policy and regulatory changes.

“The Australian tax system, its administrators, taxpayers and tax professionals alike, will need to rise to this challenge and respond to it. The Commissioner and the profession both requested and support this review,” Mr Noroozi said.

The consequences of the impending changes are far-reaching and accordingly the review will focus on all aspects of the profession. Importantly, the tax profession itself has also been subjected to an increasing range of intermediaries performing various roles in the system. In addition, it will also look at issues for the administrators or regulators and more broadly the administration of the tax system.

“The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) performs a vital role, ensuring Government has the revenue to deliver a wide range of services to the community. The tax profession and intermediaries also play vital roles in the system’s overall effectiveness and integrity through the provision of professional service and independent advice to taxpayers,” Mr Noroozi said.

The announcement of the review has been welcomed and supported by the Commissioner of Taxation (Commissioner), Mr Chris Jordan. Tax professionals play a significant role within the Australian tax system, assisting over 70 per cent of  individual taxpayers and over 90 per cent of business taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations, a fact recognised by the Commissioner.

Mr Jordan said, “I am pleased that the IGT has agreed to undertake this review. Tax professionals play an essential role in our tax system. We continue to work with the profession and other intermediaries on how we can embrace upcoming changes for the benefit of the whole community.”

The review will also look at the inter-relationship between members of the tax profession, the ATO and the Tax Practitioners Board, which regulates tax practitioners and financial advisers.

“My aim and the Commissioner’s, is to raise awareness for all stakeholders of the upcoming challenges and devise strategies that may enable us to reap the benefits of technological advancement for the improvement of tax administration in Australia,” Mr Noroozi said.

Submissions are strictly confidential. Your submission should also address the terms of reference available on the IGT website. Submissions are due by 28 July 2017.

Sydney
6 June 2017
IGT Media contact: Ali Noroozi – (02) 8239 2111