I was recently invited by the Taxation Office to take part in consultation on measuring the effectiveness of their "Transforming Tax Technical Decision Making Initiatives" (which goes by the delightful acronym "TTTDM"). The objective of the TTTDM process is to bring technical decision making upfront, engaging tax technical experts much earlier in the process (particularly in regard to tax audits and private ruling requests).
This is an initiative to be applauded, but like all administrative processes, it requires some objective performance indicators to measure whether the change is working. This is where practitioners come in. At the end of an audit or finalisation of a private ruling request, practitioners receive a client feedback questionnaire. The questions will be modified to allow the Taxation Office to extract meaningful feedback to measure whether the TTTDM process has been successful.
The project is very important in ensuring that the huge cost of managing tax disputes is reduced to the maximum degree compatible with a healthy tax system. I urge every practitioner to focus on the feedback and ensure that it is objective and to the point.
It is one small but important way in which we can contribute to the health and well-being of our taxation system.
Ken Schurgott is President of the National Council at The Tax Institute.
The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.