Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fostering Willing Compliance Behaviours

Neuroscience, nudging, behaviour studies are booming, but much of it is trivial or even wrong. When it comes to the brain, we still don’t know much... Smarter Data

The Tax Office was trying to develop a system of "willing participation".  "We want to get that 70 per cent compliant figure to 95 per cent," Mr Cranston said. "If taxpayers have made us happy and done the right thing we will send them letters and close off their matter."
Only Little People Pay Taxes?

Australian Taxation Office chief compliance officer Michael Cranston: 'Part of my job is to make sure that rich people pay the right amount of tax.'
Australian Taxation Office chief compliance officer Michael Cranston: 'Part of my job is to make sure that rich people pay the right amount of tax.'
Senate Committee Corporate Tax Avoidance Public Hearings April 2015
Ode to a hard hearted assessor
An exchange of letters in 1972 shows the lighter side of the ATO.
To a hard hearted Tax assessor
May your discs slip out one by one
and the agony continue ad infinitum.
As the doctors 'haw' and the physiotherapists 'hum'
your brace will drive you crazy in the hot summer's sun.
No more walking, no more running,
no romancing and no dancing.
End of all activity ...............
Think of me, think of me
Walking tall, feeling free,
Completely cured, I've got it made!
23 August 1972
Dear Miss [name withheld]
We have received your delightful little ode, but are saddened to know that you think so poorly of us for not allowing your claim for fees paid to your chiropractor, more especially as it seems to have been money well spent.
The sobering fact is that, gentle people as we are, our heart beats are strictly regulated by the words of the law of the land it is our task in life to faithfully administer. These words say, in the clearest terms, that we may allow deductions only for payments to a legally qualified medical practitioner, or for therapeutic treatment administered under the direction of such a practitioner. Alas, your money was spent outside this compass and we could only pass it by.
If we have to seem hard hearted, it does help us to see the sunshine a little better when the warmth of good humour occasionally filters through from our flock and we will put your ode amongst our treasures.
Yours faithfully
R R Gray


History of Tax Office

 Commissioner Boucher takes his turn at the enquiries counter as part of the Year of Service.

Commissioner Boucher takes his turn at the enquiries counter as part of the Year of Service.

 The Superannuation Guarantee team led by Michael Monaghan.

The Superannuation Guarantee team led by Michael Monaghan (In 2000s became DC at SNC)

The launch in August 2009 of an ATO DVD/online product called Tax in Australia - what you need to know containing information in English and nine other languages. The group includes the ATO language staff.

Michael D'Ascenzo, (Dasha) eleventh Commissioner of Taxation with ATO language staff  - Yusef of Lynette Tavukcu fame

The Welcome (Bohemian) Stranger
Lionel Jones was well known in the ATO for his poetry that expressed the spirit and culture of the day.
So, you're standing in a bar
In a town remote and far
From all you know, and
All who know
And love you
And you've heard the deathless hush
As you push in through the crush
And you feel Damocles' sword
Up there above you
For you know, and they know too
On their grapevine strong and true
No matter how anonymous
You've played it,
That you're the bloke
Who's up from Tax
And they cannot quite relax
With their beer - while you are there
Until you've laid it
And you know you're doing George
He's the Chairman of the Board
Local Member and best mate
Of all around you
He's a solid local man
And the faces that you scan
Drop their eyes
To the empty boards
That now surround you
Till the Publican takes pity
On his guest up from the city
And he calls to 'Charlie - Joe'
And they say 'How d'ye'
But you know
As sure as Hell
Old Joe's in your bag as well
And you meant to start him
Next week - after Charlie
So you buy the two a drink
While you're trying hard to think
How to rearrange your schedule
After Sundee
'Cause now you find it
Hard to tell, 'I'll be doing you
As well, come and see me
With your records
First thing Mondee........'
And you sometimes rather fancy
That you'd like to change with Clancey
Th' th' the accountant
Not-not the drover -
May I stammer -
And advise them what to do, when
They're caught by blokes like you
And let some other poor coot take
The James Bond glamour
But he has his problems too,
As we all have, that is true,
He depends upon them
For his bread and butter -
While you don't care how it looks
to the crook who cooks the books
Or the amateur
Who keeps his books

Australia’s other customer service monolith, Australian Tax Office (ATO), has had so many people ringing to ask where they can buy the on hold music that it has statements on its website saying where it can be purchased.
Stuck On Hold: how government muzak really works

Hold On Music at ATO

Things that matter 80 Per cent of results come from 20 Per cent of causes