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Effective tax administration is fundamental to achieving tax policy goals. This subject examines the practical issues that arise in the administration of the Australian tax system and tax administration generally. The sessions will explore in depth the administrative role of the Federal Commissioner of Taxation (FCT) in Australia's tax regime, the FCT's general powers and the interaction of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with taxpayers, tax professionals and other authorities and agencies. The subject will also include international comparisons as relevant.
The subject will be taught by the Inspector-General of Taxation, Ali Noroozi.
Principal topics include:
- Tax administration under a self-assessment regime
- The FCT's general powers of administration
- The FCT's remedial powers
- The structure of the ATO, including the corporate governance regime and internal checks and balances
- The interaction of the FCT and the ATO with the tax profession and the role of the Tax Practitioners Board
- The ATO's interaction with taxpayers
- External scrutiny of the ATO by government and other agencies and authorities
- The ATO's role in tax policy advice and law design
- The ATO's interaction with other Australian government agencies
- The ATO's interaction with international agencies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the foundational rules underlying the administration of the income tax laws
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of those rules in a variety of common dealings between taxpayers and tax professionals on the one hand and the tax administration on the other.
- Have an advanced understanding of the role of administrative law in the way the powers of the FCT are exercised and how FCT decisions can be challenged
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse the relationship between the Commissioner and other agencies with respect to tax administration
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to advise taxpayers or government officers on the scope of the FCT's powers and limits on those powers
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of tax administration practices in other jurisdictions
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding tax administration to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of tax administration.
Last updated: 6 December 2019