11 May 2010
Davidson: Any IT dollars in a 'tough love' budget?
(IT News, 11 May 2010)
The ATO would be justified in calling on a few dollars to adjust its systems to meet any new requirement for pre-populated tax returns.
RMIT professor Sinclair Davidson told iTnews he would "be very surprised if there wasn't something in the budget tonight" on the matter, if not during the Government's campaign for re-election.
In a column written for the Australian National University's Agenda, Davidson said he expected massive cost implications for the ATO.
"It is a complex arrangement to move onto pre-populated tax returns," he told iTnews today. "If the Tax Office gets it wrong, it undermines tax morale - people's willingness to be compliant with the tax system."
He judges the ATO's technical ability to implement such a change "very, very poor."
"Given the Tax Office's existing problems, this would need to be very carefully planned," he said. "It will need a lot of money upfront."