The ACT Revenue Office (ACTRO) collects revenue to ensure the financial future and progress of the ACT.  The role of the Compliance Section is to monitor and ensure the integrity, fairness and effectiveness of the ACT’s taxation system.  The Section also plays a key role in enforcing the ACT’s revenue laws and protecting public revenue.

The ACTRO encourages and assists clients to proactively and voluntarily meet their taxation obligations.  To ensure fairness for all taxpayers, our approach uses penalties and prosecution in certain situations where voluntary compliance does not occur.

Further information about the ACTRO’s compliance approach and strategy is in the Compliance, Investigations and Awareness overview [RTF, 204Kb], [PDF, 142Kb]

Our compliance strategy is focused on:

  • Maximising voluntary compliance
  • Ensuring clients have a clear understanding of their obligations
  • Identifying risk areas for proactive investigation
  • Applying the appropriate response to non-compliance
  • Treating clients in a fair and equitable manner
  • Information sharing with the Australian Taxation Office and other Revenue Offices

Compliance Program 2015-16

During the 2015-16 financial year, the Compliance Section:

  • Completed 1,137 land tax investigations, including 1 assessment that was issued for over $127,000 that included 50% penalty tax and interest
  • Completed 87 payroll tax investigations, including 1 assessment that was issued for over $2.5 million that included 50% penalty tax and interest
  • Completed 51 First Home Owner Grant and Home Buyer Concession investigations, including 1 prosecution upheld in the ACT Supreme Court
  • Increased land tax awareness through collaboration with Defence Housing Australia and an awareness campaign involving accountants and tax professionals
  • Increased compliance focus in the motor vehicle industry.
  • Continued efforts into the program to identify non-compliance by employment agents with regards to their payroll tax obligations, and unregistered payroll tax clients

During the 2015-16 year, compliance audits identified the following common errors made by clients:

  • Failing to notify the ACTRO when a property becomes rented and liable for land tax
  • Failing to meet the residency requirements for the first home owner grant and the home buyer concession scheme
  • Failing to register for payroll tax where staff are employed in the ACT, and their Australia-wide wages exceed the relevant ACT threshold
  • Failing to include all necessary payroll tax components in payroll tax returns i.e. FBT, superannuation and taxable allowances
  • Failing to declare the correct dutiable value of a motor vehicle at time of registration or change of ownership

Where applicable, assessments of outstanding tax liabilities, including the imposition of penalty tax and interest, will be issued.  Revenue Circulars GEN006.1 [RTF, 455Kb][PDF, 488Kb] and GEN009.1 [RTF, 382Kb], [PDF,134Kb] contain information on the imposition of penalties.

Client obligations

Our compliance approach identifies five main client obligations:

  1. Registration – on time, providing accurate and honest information
  2. Lodgement – of all information in the correct manner and on time
  3. Reporting and record keeping – meeting requirements and keeping proper records
  4. Payment on time and in full – voluntarily, without our intervention or enforcement
  5. Notification – meeting requirements in relation to residential property rental and home buyer’s residency requirements

Relevant links

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