As part of its justified trust program, the ATO seeks greater assurance that Top 100 and Top 1000 assurance taxpayers are reporting the right amount of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

There is an expectation of businesses to undertake verification procedures such as routine data and transactions testing. Testing that is tailored to your business and operating environment can ensure the correct reporting of GST obligations and provide an increased level of assurance over transactional data as part of your tax risk management and governance framework.

It is permissible for taxpayers to engage the services of a third party advisor to undertake independent data testing with respect to a notified ATO Top 100 or Top 1000 assurance review. The ATO has also recently released new guidance that outlines the comprehensive testing requirements of third-party advisors which includes:

  • The tester must be independent from the day-to-day operations of the taxpayer's business and has not been involved in any aspect of the underlying data to be tested.
  • Disclosures on the capabilities of the individual undertaking the testing, including software used to undertake testing.
  • Details on scope, methodology and data limitations.
  • Documentation on data transformation steps including data cleansing, reconciliations of source files and upload procedures.
  • A detailed report of factual findings providing sufficient detail of exceptions identified and line by line results for all tests.

Working with clients

Our highly qualified Data Transformation and Analytics team, led by a Director with 13 years of indirect tax analytics experience, has developed a robust GST data testing plan in line with the ATO’s assurance requirements. Using innovative and automated technologies to deliver a quality audit experience, your transactional data will be loaded into a model where the pre-defined substantive testing will be conducted in accordance with the ATO’s Guide to Independent Data Testing by Third Party Advisors.

We understand the compliance risks may not be ‘one size fits all’, therefore we expect to work collaboratively with you and the technical experts from our Indirect Tax team to ensure the tests are customised appropriately to your business and industry needs.

Our combination of experience, technology, and the tax technical in our approach to GST data and transactions testing ensures the results will be recorded in the manner required by the ATO and GST risks – which include anomaly transactions or errors in GST calculations – are highlighted for further investigation and the necessary remedial actions.