The Tax Issues Entry System, or TIES for short, is an Australian Government initiative jointly managed by the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of the Treasury. TIES provides an opportunity for you to raise issues relating to the care and maintenance of the Australian Government’s tax and superannuation systems.
Successive governments have made consultation a cornerstone of law development. However, with the best of intentions unintended consequences and anomalies can appear in the law that need addressing.
Users of legislation are well placed to identify anomalies but have had limited means to raise these anomalies with Government.
These issues were raised in the 2007 report on ‘Improving Australia’s Tax Consultation System’ in which the Board of Taxation recommended the Treasury and the Tax Office pilot a Tax Issues Entry System (TIES).
On 8 February 2008, the then Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, announced the appointment of a Tax Design Review Panel (the Review Panel) to examine how to reduce delays in the introduction of tax legislation and improve the quality of tax law changes.
The Review Panel also considered the findings of the 2007 report on ‘Improving Australia’s Tax Consultation System’. On 22 August 2008, the then Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, announced that the government had accepted the recommendations of the Review Panel including: "Recommendation 17 - Adopt the Board of Taxation’s 2007 TIES recommendation
The Government should pilot the Tax Issues Entry System (TIES) to identify legislative and administrative issues relating to the care and maintenance of the tax system. The Board of Taxation should review the operation of the system after 12 months."
Australian Taxation Office
In collaboration with
20 November 2008
Options Considered and Approach Taken
Treasury and the ATO have worked together to design TIES. Our aim has been to:
* create a single entry point for tax professionals and the community to raise minor policy and administrative issues relating to the care and maintenance of the tax and superannuation systems that was simple to use
* provide seamless processing of issues between the ATO and Treasury to identify the ‘best solution’ to individual issues whether that be a legislative change or changes to the ATO’s administrative practices
* provide online feedback to the community about the issues received and how they are being dealt with
As this initiative was being delivered jointly by the ATO and Treasury consideration was given to:
* which agency would provide certain aspects of TIES – for example who would host the TIES website
* how the agencies could work together to identify the ‘best solution’ to individual issues
* how the agencies could work with a Board of Taxation Working Group to ensure that there was private sector input to the resolution of issues
* how to publicise TIES
TIES is currently being reviewed by the Board of Taxation. Consideration is being given to how TIES might be extended and improved.
Since its inception in November 2008, the Tax Issues Entry System (TIES) has received 97 (as at 1 August 2010) issues for consideration, mainly from accounting professionals.
Of the 97 issues assessed by Treasury, the ATO and a Board of Taxation Working Group, 22 have been accepted as care and maintenance issues. 8 issues have now been resolved by Parliament passing legislative amendments. An additional 15 issues are currently being considered for legislative change and the ATO has issued an ATO Interpretative Decision to resolve another. The ATO has also made updates to the Consolidation Reference Manual as a result of issues raised through TIES.