The objective of the audit was to ascertain how efficiently and effectively the ATO administers sales tax collections. The audit excluded an examination of the Australian Customs Service's sales tax administration, although it did examine coordination and liaison arrangements between the ATO and ACS. The audit approach involved analysing the ATO's performance against the five elements of the ATO's established compliance improvement process, namely:

  • interpreting and clarifying sales tax law;
  • identifying and understanding clients and markets (enabling tax officers to identify and analyse risks of non-compliance);
  • providing education and information to clients regarding sales tax obligations, based on identified compliance risks;
  • implementing administrative arrangements which ensure and/or assist taxpayers to meet their obligations; and
  • detecting non-compliance and taking action to remedy instances of non-compliance.