• This is the Commissioner of Taxation's report to parliament on the performance of the Australian Taxation Office in 2012-13.

    Commissioner's review

  • As the first Commissioner of Taxation from outside the ATO, I have come to an organisation with a rich history and people who have a strong belief and commitment to their job – contributing to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians by:

    • collecting revenue that funds government goods and services
    • distributing benefits though the tax system
    • helping regulate the superannuation system
    • contributing to other government services.

    I was Commissioner for six months in 2012–13. Since taking office, the Second Commissioners and I have laid down directions for 2013–14 and will soon release our vision mission values statement to take us to 2020, to refresh and modernise the ATO, its operations and services.

    While we will continue to deliver on our core responsibilities, the way we go about these functions will be changing significantly. It is my intention to reposition the ATO on a new path with business and cultural transformation.

    Armed with information and feedback from the community and the independent Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) capability review, we are re-inventing the ATO with a new attitude, new products and services, a drive for productivity improvements and an openness and willingness to change.

    My new ATO Executive team is united and determined to make this transformation a reality in the coming years.


    ATO Executive team, L–R Geoff Leeper, Neil Olesen, Frances Cawthra, Bruce Quigley, Chris Jordan, Jacqui Curtis and Sue Sinclair. (L–R Geoff Leeper, Neil Olesen, Frances Cawthra, Bruce Quigley, Chris Jordan, Jacqui Curtis and Sue Sinclair).

    Performance highlights

    For 2012–13, we met the majority of our deliverables, key performance indicators and specific commitments to government, while some challenges remain in managing debt. Our key achievements were:

    • achieving all of our 21 service standards
    • launching our new website, with more user-friendly access to information and online services to support compliance
    • developing and releasing the ATO Tax 2013 smart phone app for individuals in June 2013, with 100,000 downloads as at 30 June 2013
    • delivering a range of key super reform initiatives that were designed in collaboration with stakeholders from government and industry
    • collecting $311.7 billion in net tax (an increase of 3.6% on 2011–12) and meeting commitments for states and territories by collecting $48.3 billion in GST
    • reducing our cost of collection to $0.91 per $100 (including GST)
    • greater use of alternative dispute resolution
    • healthy relationships with Treasury and key scrutineers
    • sound management and allocation of our operating budget of $3.5 billion, ending the year with a small operating surplus of $10.0 million or 0.3%, of which $9.2 million was attributable to the ATO and $0.8 million to the AVO
    • high levels of participation in the APS Census
    • Best Graduate Development Program Award for large organisations for 2012 from the Australian Association of Graduate Employers.

    Thank you

    I want to acknowledge the leadership and work of Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo in his term to 31 December 2012 and for the performance of the ATO in 2012–13. Commissioner D'Ascenzo left the ATO with performance measures for 2012–13 on track and with high levels of staff engagement.

    Next year, our annual report for 2013–14 will include measures covering:

    • government commitments
    • efficiency and effectiveness
    • our new service commitments
    • progress towards our 2020 vision including progress on the Capability Action Plan
    • third-party views of our performance.

    Chris Jordan AO
    Commissioner of Taxation

    Commissioners' intent

    Watch this video to hear the Commissioners talk about transforming the ATO

    Download:

  • View the transcript - Commissioners' intent

    Chris Jordan (intro)

    I've spent my first six months with the ATO listening and learning about our role, our functions and our people. I've been amazed at the scope and depth of this organisation's operation and expertise. I am impressed with the job that is done here at the ATO – an important job for Australia. I am honoured to have the job of Commissioner and proud to work with the Second Commissioners.

    We have developed a Commissioners' statement of intent for 2013-14 which sets out directions for the coming year. The statement is relevant to everyone in the ATO. The directions explain what shifts need to occur in the coming year – things that will build on and enhance our performance and our reputation.


    Bruce Quigley

    We want Government, other agencies, small and large business, the tax profession and individuals to have confidence in us and know that we will administer the tax and super systems fairly.


    Geoff Leeper

    One of the key aspects of administering the tax and super systems fairly is making participation as easy and as seamless as possible.

    Our services and communications have to match contemporary practices of business and governments. We will need to keep pace with technology and be a key player in whole of government efforts.


    Neil Olesen

    We want targeted consultation where we are talking with the right people at the right time on the right issue. This means we will reduce the number of regular forums we have in place to a more project-like approach to consultation.

    At a global level, we need to work with Treasury and other administrations to drive collaborative approaches to international taxation matters to ensure countries get their fair share of taxation.


    Commissioner

    I want to emphasise that we are building on a good foundation and that the changes and areas of focus mentioned are about taking us to a new level.

    Let's use the skills, expertise and talent in this organisation to demonstrate that we are a valuable institution and leading organisation for our nation.