“So, that funding brings with it additional resources for the ATO, to be able to conduct the kind of engagement that is resource-intensive, which will ultimately, in the ATO’s eyes, lead to increased transparency for these private groups.”
The Top 500 represent just 0.2 of a percentage point of private groups in Australia, but are responsible for paying 10 per cent of tax. Mr Ortner in March suggested that the ATO’s interest in these groups comes as a result of recent tax gap reports, which highlighted a 7.7 per cent tax gap in the sector worth $772 million.
As part of the federal budget, the government has tasked the Board of Taxation with examining the dual-agency administration model for the R&D tax incentive (R&DTI), with a view to “reduce duplication between the two administrators, simplify administrative processes, or otherwise reduce the compliance costs for applicants”.
The R&DTI is jointly administered by the ATO and AusIndustry on behalf of Industry, Innovation and Science Australia.