Australian Taxation Office

When a controversial new tax had to be implemented across a divided nation, the responsible government body had just one chance to get it right.


Taxing times

Despised at worst and viewed with suspicion at best, Australia’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) was a very hot political potato.

After years of bitter debate, confusion and even deliberate obfuscation, it fell to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to explain and introduce this revolutionary addition to the nation’s tax base. To do this right first time, the ATO wisely called for back-up. And as the ATO knew and respected DeakinCo’s financial training expertise, the call went to us.

Number crunch

DeakinCo worked with the ATO to design, develop and deliver training to support the tax reform implementation process.

In addition to the GST itself, the training covered all arrangements pertaining to:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • pay as you earn (PAYE)
  • new excise taxes.

DeakinCo, together with the Hayes Knight Group of Certified Practising Accountants, delivered two waves of GST, ABN and PAYE workshops to ATO graduate recruits across the nation. From Perth to Cairns, almost 450 workshops were delivered in just three months.

DeakinCo also worked with the ATO to develop and deliver the National Diesel Rebate Training Program to address new excise tax legislation.

This program required the development of 23 modules (each comprising around 100 pages of participant and facilitator guides) in just five weeks.

The comprehensive training had to cover:

  • team leadership and development
  • technical and legislative tax arrangements
  • diesel rebate application processing procedures.

The scale and significance of these projects required all of DeakinCo’s content design and development expertise.

It also showcased our capability to manage very large projects to extremely tight and immovable deadlines.

Many happy returns

Both training initiatives were highly successful. Despite dire predictions of falling sky, the GST and its associated arrangements came in with surprisingly few difficulties. Today, it’s an accepted part of Australian life.