This year, the Australian Taxation Office expects to provide a record number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with dedicated tax time support and guidance.
The ATO’s Indigenous Helpline answered more than 22,000 calls in 2017.
In 2018, we expect this number will increase said Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson.
Throughout 2018 we have continued to work across government and with the community to better understand the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The ATO is continuing to tailor its existing range of free products and services including:
- the ATO Indigenous Helpline, which provides support for individual tax and super enquiries weekdays from 8:00am to 6:00pm on 13 10 30.
- our dedicated webpage ato.gov.au/indigenous which has a range of information tailored toward Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“This support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a concrete outcome of our commitment to reconciliation. Reconciliation is everyone’s business, and we’ve certainly made it part of ours,” Ms Anderson said.
“We are committed to increasing confidence in the taxation and superannuation system, and a fundamental part of improving the financial wellbeing of Indigenous Australia is through education and support” she said.
The ATO is committed to offering employment and career development opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The 2014 introduction of the ATO Evergreen Indigenous Pathways employment initiative has supported the career development of over 180 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Currently, the Evergreen Program has 35 participants with an additional intake planned for the end of 2018. Over the same period we have increased the representation of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees from 0.8% to 2.08%, with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander employees currently making up 14% of the ATO’s Townsville office.
The ATO has implemented a supplier diversity strategy and have assisted in the creation of the Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy.
As part of our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses the ATO has increased its contracts with suppliers from less than $10,000 in 2012–13 to more than $21 million in 2016–17. We have established long-term relationships with more than 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.