We¹re not mongrels and we don¹t cook people, says ATO boss

Ken Phillips, CEO, Self-Employed Australia, 31 May 2018

Yesterday morning the head of the Australian Taxation Office, Mr Chris Jordan, denied that the ATO were a ‘mongrel bunch of bastards’. (See ABC report here.)

Mr Jordan was making a presentation to a Senate Estimates hearing and responding to the Four Corners show on 9 April ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’.

Mr Jordan also rejected our comments in the show that the ATO “cooked people slowly, until you are roasted and you are dead”. Mr Jordan said: “People at the ATO do not get up in the morning thinking who can I destroy or boil to death.”

Mr Jordan denied that there are any systemic problems in the way the ATO treats small business people. However, he announced that the ATO has set up new processes to address any problems. That is, the ATO is addressing problems it says don’t exist.

Maybe we are starting to see some early results. We’ve been pushing for significant change in the ATO since 2015. Here’s our background activity. We want a small business tribunal. And recently we went into more detail about ATO reform. We want the ATO broken up. Details here. And we’re calling for a Royal Commission into the ATO.

The problem with the ATO’s doing internal reform is that it has promised this many times in the past. But its ‘reforms’ have not changed the bad treatment of self-employed small business people. Reform has to be imposed on the ATO by Parliament.

I discussed this on drive-time radio yesterday with Ross Greenwood of Radio 2GB Sydney. Yes, I was fairly ‘blunt’ in putting our views about the ATO. You can hear the interview at this link.