CANBERRA, AAP – Australia’s tax ombudsman has launched three investigations, including one into how the tax office manages objections.

Inspector-General Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman Karen Payne said her office would also examine how the taxation commissioner exercises both its general and remedial powers.

The objections investigation will focus on the Australian Taxation Office’s timeliness, along with the independence of decision-makers and their process.

Regarding the exercise of general administration powers, the IGTO will look at whether decisions that have been made by the commissioner are too broad.

It is interested to understand how broad decisions affecting large taxpayer groups are identified and determined.

The commissioner’s remedial powers to modify provisions in tax law where they are not operating as designed will also come under the spotlight.

The discretion is only able to be exercised when certain conditions are met, and the ombudsman found little clarity about how issues are raised for remedial power consideration.

The IGTO noted limited avenues to challenge the exercise of general administration and remedial powers.

“Review investigations are one of our core functions and provide in-depth analysis on key areas of tax administration to provide assurance that tax administration systems are operating fairly, equitably and transparently,” Ms Payne said.

She encouraged taxpayers and practitioners to engage with the investigation over the coming year.