Highlights of 2015–16

ABR integrity and realising benefits for business

The ATO is committed to maintaining an ABR that is accurate, informative, readily accessible and able to support government service delivery for businesses and the community and regulatory functions.

The integrity of ABR data is continually improved by identifying and removing redundant ABNs, reconciling ABN information to trusted third-party data sources and reviewing ABNs identified as being of high risk of non-entitlement. This work has resulted in over 2 million ABNs being removed from the ABR over the last two years and significant improvements in the accuracy of all key business information held on the register.

ABR Explorer

ABR Explorer is an online reporting and analytical tool that makes using ABR data easy. Since it went live in early 2016, more than 140 authorised agencies from across all levels of government are able to perform their own analysis, produce graphs and tables, and export their results to use in other software programs.

A key feature of ABR Explorer is the integrated mapping function that provides access to business address information and has a variety of applications, such as disaster recovery and emergency responses.

ABR Connect

ABR Connect provides access to multiple government agency registers in a single business register, the ABR, reducing the number of registers businesses need to access each time they need to update information. Benefits include improved reliability of business information, and savings to government agencies in establishing and maintaining their own registers.

In 2015–16, real-time access to the ABR was made available to Services NSW and the Queensland Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games (DTESB), allowing both departments to use the ABR as their own register. We are working to make this available to more agencies in future.

Streamlining Business Registration

The Streamlining Business Registration measure, announced in the Budget 2015–16, includes a single online portal which will allow businesses to do multiple registrations in one place. Associated application program interfaces will allow third-party software developers to provide registration software.

The measure was progressed in 2015–16 and is expected to become available in 2016–17. This will make the registration experience easier for over 700,000 business registrants every year.

Standard Business Reporting

In 2015–16, the annual savings generated by SBR for businesses and government is estimated to be in the order of $1.2 billion. This estimate represents an increase of approximately 50% over the savings projection in the original business case.

We have listened to feedback and have already included new business reporting languages. SBR will continue to expand and evolve to support a broader digital message exchange. This is part of removing major barriers for those who are seeking to adopt SBR. The design of SBR will now be simpler, better aligned with contemporary technology and provide greater flexibility for those implementing it. There is still a lot to do to transition to the reinvented design and this will be a major theme of work for SBR in the year ahead.

The use of current SBR systems continued to grow this year. Lodgments through the national gateway totalled over 1 million in 2015–16, an increase of 90% from the previous year. Additionally, there were around 6.5 million tax file numbers matched using the ATO’s SuperTICK service.

 
FIGURE 2.2 Year-on-year savings from SBR
Year

Business Total

Government total Revised estimate Program estimate (forecast) Program estimate (historical)

2012-13

0.06

0.02

0.08

0.08

0.08

2013-14

0.23

0.00

0.23

0.23

0.23

2014-15

0.46

0.10

0.56

0.56

0.56

2015-16

1.05

0.17

1.22

1.19

 

2016-17

1.1

0.39

1.49

1.42

 

2017-18

1.4

0.12

1.52

1.99

 

SBR benefits

During 2015–16, we estimated savings to business and government arising from use of the ABR, SBR and AUSkey by both business and government. The robustness of the methodology used for the estimate was subsequently confirmed by an independent consultant, Deloitte Access Economics.

On the basis of higher-than-expected transactions in 2015–16, and a higher forward estimate of transactions for the following two years, estimated gross savings are in the order of $1.2 billion in 2015–16. A cumulative total of around $5 billion is estimated for the three years to 2017–18.

The number of SBR transactions in 2017–18 is estimated to reach 109.2 million, with savings to business in that year estimated to be in excess of $1.4 billion.