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Sounding Board
Frequently Asked Questions

General

Q:  What is the purpose of Sounding Board?

A:  Sounding Board has been developed to allow those with day-to-day experience with the tax system to submit and discuss tax system improvement ideas.  Sounding Board allows users to prioritise ideas by voting and commenting on important and topical ideas.

Q: Who are the Board of Taxation?

A:  The Board of Taxation is a non-statutory advisory body charged with contributing a business and broader community perspective to improving the design of taxation laws and their operation.  Further information can be found on the Board’s website.

Submitting Ideas

Q:  What types of ideas should be submitted to Sounding Board?

A: Sounding Board is designed for tax system improvement ideas (for example, ideas that reduce red-tape and/or compliance burdens without a great deal of cost to tax revenue).  Sounding Board is not designed to consider new policy ideas or changes to existing policy (for example, adding or removing taxes or changing tax rates).

Q:  What should I include when submitting my idea to Sounding Board?

A: You should clearly explain the tax system issue your idea is seeking to address and how implementing your idea will help to improve the system by reducing red-tape and/or compliance burdens.  You also have the opportunity to add an attachment or hyperlink to your submission.

Q:  Can I submit minor care and maintenance tax suggestions to Sounding Board?

A:  Yes, Sounding Board will replace the existing Tax Issues Entry System (TIES) and the Board encourages participants to submit care and maintenance tax suggestions.  These suggestions will be monitored by the ATO and actioned accordingly.  The Sounding Board will be updated to notify users when a care and maintenance idea has been identified, with progress to be also updated. 

Q:  How long will ideas be available for discussion?

A:  Once an idea has been submitted to Sounding Board, it will remain live on the site indefinitely. Some ideas may be removed where they are out of scope.

Q:  How are ideas submitted on Sounding Board assessed?

A:  After ideas have been submitted and discussion has taken place, the Board will select those ideas which generated the most interest to further explore their potential for implementation.  

This selection process will take place once a month to coincide with meetings of the Board’s Tax System Improvement Working Group.  The number of ideas selected will vary depending on the level of interest and the complexity of the topic. 

With assistance from Treasury and the ATO, the Board will consider the viability of advancing these ideas.  If the idea has merit the Board will make recommendations to Treasury and the ATO for implementation.

Q:  At what point do ideas get progressed for implementation?

A:  Once ideas have been submitted, they will be available for users to add comments, discuss and vote on the idea.  If there has been significant interest in the topic the Board’s Tax System Improvement Working Group will subject the idea to closer examination and assess its viability for implementation.  Where an idea has been selected for implementation, the Tax System Improvement Working Group will continue to monitor its progress through to implementation. 

The ATO will also monitor Sounding Board for any administrative care and maintenance suggestions and action these accordingly. 

Q:  How long does it take for an idea to be implemented?

A:   If the idea has generated significant interest, it will be selected for closer consideration by the Working Group.  After this stage, the idea may be referred to Treasury (if legislative) or the ATO (if administrative) for implementation.  Implementation of an idea, particularly if legislative, can take anywhere from 6 months to several years depending on the level of complexity involved. 

Q:  How will I know what has happened with my idea?

A:  Ideas submitted to Sounding Board will be accompanied by a status bar at all times indicting whether the idea is open for discussion, closed, has been selected for closer examination by the Working Group, is referred for implementation or has been implemented. You will also be notified via the comments section if your idea is being progressed and the reason(s) why. 

Moderation of Sounding Board

Q:  Is there a moderation policy for Sounding Board

A:  Yes, the moderation policy for Sounding Board can be found on the Board’s website

Q:  Will my idea or comments be vetted before it appears on Sounding Board?

A:  No, ideas will not be vetted before they appear on Sounding Board.  If an idea or comment breaches the Sounding Board moderation policy (eg the comment is abusive) it will be removed by the moderators. 

Q:  What happens if someone posts something inappropriate?

A:  If an idea or comment is in breach of the Sounding Board moderation policy, it will be removed by the moderators. 

Q:  How often will the Board be monitoring and updating Sounding Board?

A:  The moderators will check the site each day to see how items are progressing and to ensure there are no breaches of the moderation policy.  Moderators will review ideas submitted on Sounding Board each month in preparation for the Board’s Tax System Improvement Working Group to assess the ideas.  Substantive updates will appear after each meeting of the Tax System Improvement Working Group. 

Other

Q:  How can I contact the Board of Taxation?

A:  You can contact the Board by emailing taxboard@treasury.gov.au