YourLifeChoices takes your views on tax to Parliament

Recently, we asked your thoughts on tax and now you will be heard.

YLC takes your views to Canberra

Earlier this month, YourLifeChoices asked you, our members, for your views on Australia’s taxation system, how it affects you and how you interact with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

We sought this information in order to appear before Parliament’s standing committee on tax and revenue, which was interested in mature Australians’ insights into the ATO’s digitised lodgement and information systems.

On Tuesday, our publisher Kaye Fallick and digital operations manager Drew Patchell, took those survey results and presented them to the committee to make sure your voices will be heard.

The survey found that less than half (42 per cent) of respondents were confident the ATO was managing their personal information safely with regard to security and privacy.

In the light of the recent ATO fraud and identity theft issues surrounding the sale of Medicare numbers, this is hardly surprising.

An overwhelming majority of members (84 per cent), also thought the tax treatment of people on the pension or welfare benefits should be reviewed.

Among some of the suggestions we were able to present to the parliamentary committee were:

  • raising the low-income threshold
  • simplifying the tax return process
  • employing more staff
  • making information more secure.

Overall, most members were reasonably satisfied with the ATO online lodgement service (87 per cent saying that it was easy to use).

Thank you again to our members for providing their feedback. We were proud to present on your behalf. Your anonymous responses will hopefully help guide improvements to the system.

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    COMMENTS

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    inextratime
    20th Jul 2017
    3:46pm
    But will they take any notice ?
    Old Geezer
    20th Jul 2017
    5:37pm
    Gee what do people want the low income threshold raised to as you can now earn about $21,000 or more if you are over pension age before you pay any tax?

    Tax return process is so easy with MyGov too.

    More staff what for?

    Information more secure? It's too secure with all those silly questions giving people no option but to write them down with the answers which makes a mockery out of the security of the system.
    *Imagine*
    20th Jul 2017
    8:22pm
    10 years ago I used to go to the ATO Adelaide office and pick up a SMSF Annual Return and instructions for completion. It cost $45 to lodge the return.

    Today there is no ATO Office, only MyGov, and they do not stock publications. Instead I have to set up an on-line account with log in, pass word and secret questions, provide ABN and postal address, then prove that I am not a robot by analysing two series of nine photos, checking which ones have road signs or vehicles, before I can even order the Annual Return.

    The Instructions for completing the return are not available in print form, or in PDF format, for home printing. They are only available on line. Unfortunately the way the instructions are set up require lots of ‘link clicking’ to move forwards and backwards. Perhaps this works with good internet speeds, but I feel that the whole approach is a retrograde step, unless the aim is to make life a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

    And the lodgement cost? $259 a 476% increase in ten years.

    The MyGov site, that sends me an email to tell me to sign on to the site, to read a letter, how silly is that? When I sign on with my Mac (latest version of Safari browser) the letter is unavailable because the plugin is blocked. However, the letter is marked as read because I attempted to open it. Yes I know that I can use an older computer or an alternative less secure browser but I don’t call thais approach good communication. Communication is a two way thing and it appears that the customer must make all the effort.

    Guess you can imagine how I feel about the ATO and other Government “Service” modern approaches.
    Star Trekker
    20th Jul 2017
    9:06pm
    You can have Govt. mail sent to a MyPost account.
    *Imagine*
    20th Jul 2017
    9:40pm
    But why is any account necessary?
    What you say is true, but totally unnecessary and only adds another layer of complexity or needless bureaucracy. I have a physical post box and three email accounts. ALL of which receive communications from various sources. E*Trade is clever, they email me a secure PDF invoice that requires a second password to open. Why can't Government agencies be that smart? If MyGov used PDF instead of their own silly plug-in, there would be no problem. I am not that time rich that I have hours to spend chasing incompetent processes/people. Are these agencies servants of the public or do they view us, the public, as their subordinates who must follow their instruction or suffer reprimand? No imagination needed to answer that.
    LiveItUp
    20th Jul 2017
    10:08pm
    I thought they fixed the problems with their letters ans Apple as s well as the Android problems.
    *Imagine*
    20th Jul 2017
    10:34pm
    Just checked my last MyGov letter advising me of exchange rates for my part UK pension. I can open it with an old PC laptop using a Windows system from 2009. However, using Safari 10.1.1 all I get is a black screen with 'plugin blocked' in a bubble, centre screen - so no, still not caught up with latest Safari browser update. If it was a PDF (Portable Document Format) then all browsers could open it, but I imagine that would be too simple.


    Tags: tax, ato, super,