25 September 2023

Cornall to review ATO compo scheme

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Former Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, Robert Cornall has been appointed to lead a review of a compensation scheme for small businesses claiming administrative mistreatment at the hands of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann said Mr Cornall’s review would consider the ATO’s operation of the Compensation for Detriment Caused by Defective Administration, also known as the CDDA Scheme.

The Minister said the CDDA Scheme allowed Commonwealth Government Agencies to pay discretionary compensation when a person or organisation had suffered detriment as a result of defective administration, but when there was no legal requirement to make a payment.

“Undertaking a review of the ATO’s implementation of the CDDA Scheme will ensure that small business have access to a fair and transparent system for administrative review of small business tax disputes,” Mr Cormann said.

The review would consider the consistency of the CDDA Scheme processes; timeliness of decisions; how effectively findings were communicated; how independent decision-making could be best achieved in future, and the adequacy of compensation for small businesses that had suffered an economic and/or personal loss.

Senator Cormann said Mr Cornall had been asked to report to the Government in early 2019.

“This review comes on top of Government action to make it simpler for small businesses to resolve tax disputes with the ATO,” the Minister said.

“A new Small Business Taxation Division within the Administrative Appeals Tribunal opens today (1 March). As a general rule the ATO will not be represented in the Small Business Taxation Division by external lawyers.”

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