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Will the ATO be included under the powers of an anti-corruption commission?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The ABC reports that a Federal anti-corruption commission is looking increasingly likely. This five-minute ABC television clip explains that:

  • The Federal government is apparently considering an anti-corruption commission.
But here’s a question. Will an anti-corruption commission be able to investigate the Australian Taxation Office? Would the ATO fight hard to be excluded? Our typical idea of corruption is that someone in the private sector bribes a public official to achieve government favour. But try this twist.

Would an ATO official conduct fraud against a taxpayer to pull in taxes that are not actually owed? For example, would a tax official falsify a document to mount a claim of a tax debt? Rather than a bribe, would a tax official do this for career purposes or even as part of a power trip? Fraud is fraud no matter what the motivation!

Our thoughts on this have been triggered following the release of a major report we completed, ATO Rules for the Rich. This report, we believe, warrants investigation into the possibility of corruption in the ATO.

We submitted the report to the Commonwealth Integrity Commissioner whose job it is to investigate potential corruption within the Commonwealth Public Service. Guess what? The Commissioner does not have the power to investigate the ATO. The ATO investigates itself!

Ummm! So that’s how anti-corruption efforts are conducted at the Commonwealth Public Service level!

Add your voice to the campaign to reform the ATO. Action here. This has got to be a community reform effort. The ATO doesn’t want the reform!!!

Greg commented on 26-Nov-2018 07:29 PM
If a private firm tried to pull off the sort of thing the ATO is doing regularly, the owner of that firm would be locked up in short order. This has to stop! The integrity of our economy is at stake.

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