Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar has called on the ATO to show more gratitude towards accountants who do a lot of heavy lifting on behalf of their clients.Sometimes being an Accountant can be pretty loveless, and part of this I believe is because Tax is a very poorly understood element of business. Chatting about how good your Accountant is or how much tax you've paid isn't necessarily dinner party conversation.
Because the Accountant sits between the business and the ATO we often bare the brunt of our clients dissatisfaction in their tax bills, and it is up to us as Accountants to help our clients better understand the importance that tax plays in our great economy.
The Assistant Treasurer said at the IPA Deakin Small Business: Big Vision conference that regulators such as the ATO should be showing more gratitude and doing everything possible to assist practitioners in doing their critical work in helping taxpayers comply with our tax system. “As accountants are predominantly doing all the heavy lifting, I want the ATO to be more engaging with the accounting profession and do whatever it takes to better accommodate all their interactions with this government agency,” said Mr Sukkar.
“Accountants and advisers are pivotal to success of small business clients and its not just tax matters that they are asked to assist with but a plethora of business and non-business needs. There are few professionals who hold this trusted relationship.”
Acknowledging that there has been a lot of good work done by the ATO, Mr Sukkar added that he would like to reduce the number of interactions taxpayers have with the regulator.“I am looking for taxpayers including small businesses to have less frequent interactions but for those interactions to be more positive than they may have been in the past,” he said.
Responding to the Assistant Treasurer’s address, IPA CEO Andrew Conway emphasised the important relationship the IPA shares with the government.
“It is pleasing that Minister Sukkar as Assistant Treasurer has sent a strong signal to our profession,” Mr Conway said. “The government genuinely respects the work our members do, and this will be welcomed by all members working day in day out to maintain the integrity of the tax system as trusted advisers to small business.”