The Role Of Transparency In Large Market Tax Compliance

The Deputy Commissioner of Public Groups, Ms Rebecca Saint, recently addressed the 14th International Tax Administration Conference and explained the role of transparency in consideration with the large market tax compliance.

According to Ms Rebecca, tax transparency is typically viewed through three lenses, and each of them plays a significant role in keeping up with the tax compliance and performance of the tax system.

The Three Lenses Of Transparency

  • Taxpayers being transparent with the ATO
  • The ATO being transparent with the community on large market tax compliance; and
  • Organisations being transparent with the community about their tax performance

 Transparency to the ATO

The foremost role in maintaining transparency is played by the taxpayers. Whether you are a large corporate or a mid-sized business, accurate tax information should be provided as part of the standard lodgment program. All corporates need to provide details of their uncertain tax positions and information about cross-border dealings.

Most taxpayers voluntarily provide all the tax information needed to conduct formal investigations. However, the vast bulk of data gathered for large businesses is done informally without the Commissioner resorting to the use of formal powers.

This year, it is estimated to issue more than 2,000 informal requests for information across our programs, and around 70 audit notices to taxpayers for supporting voluntary transparency to the ATO.

Guidance To Market About ATO Views

When it comes to transparency, it’s not only the taxpayer responsible for the compliance. Regulators need to be open and transparent about their views. No matter what business they are in, everyone avoids being a part of the tax dispute.

With the public advice and guidance program designed by Public Groups, we are helping taxpayers get the things done right and help businesses in understanding the ATO views and make informed decisions.

Role Of The Voluntary Tax Transparency Code

ATO believes in tax transparency and is continually focused on improving it. To make sure people stay confident about the tax system, VTTC plays a foundation role. Ms Rebecca said, we publish significant information about tax performance that is critical to supporting an informed public debate. Our key publications include:

  • Annual corporate tax data with detailed contextual information
  • Tax and Corporate Australia, and
  • Findings reports from key programs

ATO programs provide support to taxpayers to help them make credible statements to the public about their tax profile and contribution.


When it comes to tax transparency, getting it done on both taxpayer and ATO levels is necessary. Australian Taxation Office continues to encourage taxpayers to adopt a transparent tax approach that provides real-time insight into their expenses.

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