The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has provided a concise summary of its framework by which four broad risk categories are categorized for each type of tax (income tax, GST, excise). This classification framework will be used to provide their service focus.
The framework distinguishes key taxpayers and taxpayers with high, low and medium risk classifications. Higher risk taxpayers will merit a continuous tax review, key taxpayer relationships will be developed focused on the MNE’s risk management and governance framework, medium risk taxpayers will fact reviews/audits, and lower risk taxpayers will be monitored to confirm its ongoing risk characterization.
A link to the ATO Fact sheet is provided for reference:
This initiative is valuable in providing insight into a taxpayer’s risk characterization, although the review frequency and transparency details leading up to a relevant classification are not provided. All taxpayers with Australian operations should be knowledgeable about the risk classification assigned to them for purposes of efficiently engaging with the ATO in a collaborative relationship.
This exercise is also helpful in identifying potential trends in other countries as the OECD’s country-by-country template guidelines are finalized and legislative actions are taken to formally assess risk using relevant data.