CANBERRA: The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) appears to have started down the consultation track it should have taken last year on truck driver travel expenses changes. After causing broad industry uproar in the past two months with its ATO Determination TD 2017/19 and claims of extensive consultation, the tax office looks to be taking a careful approach the second time around, with an ‘anticipated’ but basic timeline. “We aim to develop a range of options and then consult with you on either a single preferred option or possibly multiple options for the 2017-18 year,” the ATO tells industry representative bodies. “We anticipate having an option or range of options to you by Monday, 4 September 2017. “If we are able to do so earlier, we will do so earlier. “If for any reason we think we might be unable to meet this deadline, we will advise you as soon as we think this is likely. “As with any consultation process, second and third steps will be greatly influenced by progress with this key initial step.”
The ATO appears leery of surrendering any hostages to fortune, saying “it would be unwise to attempt to set out a detailed timeline for the complete resolution of the whole matter”. “We do appreciate, however, the importance of giving guidance to employee truck drivers as soon as possible and will be working towards that goal,” it says.