Thursday, October 28, 2021

Kirsten Fish: Appointment – Full-time Second Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office

We must collect taxes without causing unnecessary burden to citizens. Just as a flower is not hurt when the bee draws nectar from it, so also should the king not disturb the taxpayer when he collects taxes.”.

Kautilya (c. 350-275 BCE)

Kirsten Fish was a member of the ATO Executive from 19 March to 30 June 2020 and acted in the role of Second Commissioner of the Law Design and Practice Group from 1 April to 30 June 2020.

Kirsten had overall responsibility for the ATO’s law practice, including law interpretation, public advice and guidance, independent dispute prevention and resolution, and our role in policy and law design.

The Law Design and Practice Group contributes to the administration of the tax and superannuation systems by seeking to make tax fair, simple and understood. We work collaboratively with Treasury and other agencies in supporting government outcomes and leading the ATO’s work on design of new policies and law. Law Design and Practice is involved at the early stages of advice and review, providing certainty through interpretation of the law and publication of guidance to support our clients in getting it right the first time.

We are committed to understanding the drivers of disputes, litigating only the right cases, and encouraging prevention and ensuring earlier resolution where disputes happen.

Appointment - Full-time Second Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office

The Morrison Government has appointed Ms Kirsten Fish as a Second Commissioner of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for a seven-year period.

Ms Fish has been acting as Second Commissioner in the Law Design and Practice Group at the ATO for the past 12 months. She is Chief Tax Counsel at the ATO and one of the highest legal authorities within the ATO, leading the Tax Counsel Network and providing technical leadership in relation to significant tax issues, cases and rulings. Prior to joining the ATO, she was a tax Partner at Clayton Utz with a focus on the financial services industry and providing finance and investment transaction advice.

The ATO is the Government’s principal revenue collection agency. The role of the ATO is to manage and shape the tax, excise and superannuation systems that fund services for Australians. The ATO is responsible for the administration of a wide range of taxation and superannuation legislation.

The Government congratulates Ms Fish on her appointment.

Ms Fish’s appointment also continues the Government’s strong record of identifying capable women for senior public sector roles.

Appointment – Full-time Second Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office

“A strong and capable leader, Ms Fish champions the effective administration of the tax, superannuation and business registration systems,” said Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan upon welcoming Ms Fish to her new role

Kirsten Fish on values and balance

The ATO’s Chief Tax Counsel, Kirsten Fish CTA, describes her strategies for balancing her professional life with the demands of a young family. 

LinkedIn profile

Kirsten Fish on how to make a new successful career in tax


Keeping on top of your taxes: Interview with Kirsten Fish, ATO Deputy Commissioner Small Business - Dynamic Business