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This is the first of two audit reports concerning the Tax Office's administration of SMSFs pursuant to the provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. This audit report examines the efficiency and effectiveness of the Tax Office's approach to regulating and registering self managed superannuation funds. Specifically the ANAO examined the:
Environment in which SMSFs operate, including the Tax Office's regulatory roles and responsibilities;
Tax Office's governance of its SMSF regulatory role; and
Systems, processes and controls the Tax Office uses to register SMSFs, and enforce the lodgement of fund income tax and regulatory returns.
The objective of this audit was to determine the extent to which selected agencies have implemented the two recommendations of the previous audit; and the appropriateness of advice provided by Finance and the ATO. To address this audit objective, the audit assessed:
the roles of Finance and the ATO in clarifying: the interaction of the PB and SG Act; the ongoing role of the PB Act; and mechanisms to monitor Australian Government organisations' compliance with the PB Act;
the extent to which Finance and the ATO have provided guidance and other support to assist Australian Government organisations manage and meet statutory superannuation obligations for eligible contractors; and
whether Australian Government organisations have managed and met statutory superannuation obligations for contractors in past and current contracts.
The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of the ATO's administration of debt collection. Micro-business debt is a particular focus of attention. The three key areas examined are:
strategies–especially the ATO's initiatives trialled in 2006;
infrastructure–the IT systems, people, policy and processes and risk management framework supporting the collection of debt; and
management and governance–planning, monitoring and reporting mechanisms and liaison with stakeholders.
The ANAO focused on the work of the campaigns area within the Debt Line, which has collection responsibility for 90 per cent of collectable debt cases and responsibility for other key, centralised functions such as reporting, quality assurance review, consistency and best practice, and the debt collection initiatives.
examine the ATO's implementation of the ten recommendations in The Australian Taxation Office's Management of its Relationshipwith Tax Practitioners (Audit Report No.19, 2002–03), having regard to any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of those recommendations; and
identify scope for improvement in the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners.
Follow up audits are recognised as an important element of the accountability processes of Commonwealth administration. Parliament looks to the Auditor General to report, from time to time, on the extent to which Commonwealth agencies have implemented recommendations of previous audit reports. Follow up audits keep Parliament informed of progressive improvements and current challenges in areas of Commonwealth administration that have previously been subject to scrutiny through performance audits.
The objective of the audit was to assess the ATO's administration of CGT compliance in the individuals market segment. The focus of the audit was the ATO's administration of compliance by individuals with respect to the two most common CGT events: real property and share disposals. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) identified three key areas for review:
governance – the corporate planning and reporting arrangements relevant to the administration of CGT compliance in the individuals market segment, including how these are integrated with the ATO's overall approach to managing CGT;
identifying and assessing compliance risks – the mechanisms and strategies used to identify and assess CGT compliance risks in the individuals market segment; and
compliance activities – the products and processes used to manage CGT compliance in the individuals market segment.
The audit examined the effectiveness and efficiency of the FAO's management of overpayments, within the FTB Programme. In particular, the ANAO considered the FAO's activities in relation to FTB debt prevention, identification, raising and recovery. The audit also compared the FAO's policy documentation and guidance material for staff, against relevant sections of Family Assistance legislation.
The objective of the audit was to review the operation of the ATO's Tax Agent and Business Portals. In conducting the audit the ANAO examined three key areas: governance – the governance arrangements supporting ongoing management of the Portals; portals development, user satisfaction and realisation of expected benefits – the ATO's processes for involving users in developing the Tax Agent and Business Portals, assessing user satisfaction, and evaluating business benefits arising from uptake of the Portals; and information technology (IT) security and user access controls – the ATO's IT security environment and user access controls supporting the operation of the Tax Agent and Business Portals.
The follow-up audit assessed the extent to which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Health and Ageing (Health), and Medicare Australia had implemented the six recommendations from Audit Report No.47 2001–02, Administration of the 30 Per Cent Private Health Insurance Rebate. The audit also looked at: the implementation of some of the major suggestions for improvement in the original audit; and the current validity of some of the positive major findings from that audit. The audit found that the ATO, Health and Medicare Australia have acted upon the recommendations contained in Audit Report No.47 2001–02 and, overall, the administration of the Rebate is currently being undertaken effectively.
The objective of the audit was to assess the ATO's administration of activity statement HRRs. Specifically the audit sought to: examine aspects of ATO governance relevant to its administration of activity statement HRRs. This includes: ATO planning, the integration between Lines to administer HRRs; corporate risk management processes; and performance management; assess the ATO's methodology and practice to identify and, if necessary, correct activity statement HRRs; and identify and assess the Information Technology (IT) and manual systems, processes and controls used by the ATO to process HRRs resulting from the lodgement of activity statements.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to examine the ATO's implementation of the 20 recommendations in: The Administration of Petroleum Excise Collections (Audit Report No.17, 2001(02); and The Administration of Tobacco Excise (Audit Report No. 55, 2001(02), having regard to any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of those recommendations. The audit also aimed to identify scope for improvement in the ATO's administration of petroleum and tobacco excise. Follow-up audits are recognised as an important element of the accountability processes of Commonwealth administration. The Parliament looks to the Auditor-General to report, from time to time, on the extent to which Commonwealth agencies have implemented recommendations of previous audit reports. Follow-up audits keep the Parliament informed of progressive improvements and current challenges in areas of Commonwealth administration that have previously been subject to scrutiny through performance audits.