November 19, 2015

ATO Getting Funky with Collection Processes

The ATO regularly SMS its “clients” (but never late on a Saturday night) according to the ATO’s latest Annual Report.

Last financial year the ATO sent SMS reminders to 247,000 taxpayers they thought were likely to pay late or not at all, resulting in 65,000 of those taxpayers paying on time and $834million in taxes being recovered. 

The ATO Annual Report provides some wonderful tidbits on the performance of the ATO like “We’re doing a good job 🙂 (yes, they did put in a smiley face), 76% of our clients told us they were satisfied with the service they received” and “We spent around 66 cents for every $100 in gross tax collected (down 3 cents from last year)”….. and so on.

Some other interesting information?

  • The ATO collected $337 billion in tax for the year, broken down into:
    •    Individuals (PAYG) – $178b
    •    Company Income Tax – $79b
    •    GST – $55b
    •    Others – $25b
  • Tax collected is up $15b from last year, but $9b less than the Government expected….that’s a surprise!
  • Total Debt Holdings at year end was $35b, made up of:
    •    Insolvency Debt – $6b
    •    Disputed Debt – $10b
    •    Collectable Debt – $19b.
  • 800,000 payment plans were granted by the ATO in the year.
  • The ATO bankrupted only 310 taxpayers out of a total of 17,158 bankruptcies nationally (1.8%).
  • The ATO wound up 1,264 companies out of a total of 9,205 liquidations nationally (13.7%).
  • The ATO wrote off $1.4b in debts as “uneconomical to pursue”.
  • The ATO is ramping up the use of new age tools such as The ATO App and SMS, as well as increasing the use of old chestnuts like Garnishees, Director Penalty Notices and Statutory Demands.

Article written by David Stimpson, Executive Director, Queensland.

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