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ATO’s new Adviser Strategy aimed at increasing system integrity

The ATO is set to introduce an adviser strategy under the auspices of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce which is aimed at strengthening the integrity of the tax and super systems.

The Tax Avoidance Taskforce was established in 2016 to ensure multinational enterprises, large public and private businesses, and associated individuals pay the right amount of tax in Australia.

In a statement, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said the introduction of the Adviser Strategy recognises the important role advisers have in supporting businesses.

The strategy will apply to a variety of adviser types, including tax and business activity statement (BSA) agents, insolvency practitioners, legal practitioners, research and development consultants, and financial advisers.

The regulator said as tax and superannuation laws are complex, it is essential that businesses have access to high-quality advice and the ATO can support advisers to provide appropriate advice to their clients.

Under the strategy, the ATO said it is expanding its use of data to identify risks, behaviours of concern, and common errors, and will progressively share these insights with advisers and their clients to support them to put corrective actions in place.

It said the focus of the strategy is on prevention, rather than correction, acknowledging most advisers “uphold high ethical standards”.


As part of the strategy, the ATO will also showcase the best practices already being employed by advisers to encourage others to adopt similar processes.

Some of these best practices include keeping up-to-date with developments in the areas of tax and super law on which they advise, and understanding their client’s business to ensure they have the right information and records to lodge correctly.

Other examples of best practice highlighted by the ATO were encouraging their clients to use digital solutions, such as accounting and point-of-sale software, engaging positively with the ATO, and being dedicated to promoting ethical and compliant tax strategies.

The ATO said it will release more information on the Adviser Strategy soon.