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ATO Continues to Strengthen our Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People


Canberra, Australia, Aug 7, 2019 -- The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides dedicated and tailored support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We want to make tax and super as easy as possible for all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, said Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat.

"Our dedicated Indigenous Helpline received a record 25,034 calls last year. This line provides specialised tax and super assistance, tailored to meet the needs of these communities.

"We’ve seen consistent growth in the calls over the years, and this year, we expect to see even more calls to the line, as awareness of this service grows in the community.

"Our Indigenous Helpline staff receive specific training targeted towards working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We’ve developed a tailored approach focusing on creating contemporary services that are easy to use and accessible for all Australians.

"We know that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people rely on the helpline to receive tax and super information instead of using online resources. Our staff often provide large amounts of information over the phone; sometimes even talking people through their tax return step by step.

"This service provides confidence to many in completing their tax return, something they may not have felt they had the knowledge to do on their own.

"This year, the ATO is continuing to offer Tax Help and Pop-up shop services in Indigenous communities, including local community centres.

"Some Tax Help centres will also have volunteers available to assist in languages other than English and some centres will also specialise in helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples," Ms Foat said.

We are also committed to supporting Indigenous-owned small businesses. That’s why, last year, we piloted the Reach Out project, providing support through local intermediaries.

"We have dedicated teams of staff with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds based in Townsville and Brisbane whose role it is to get out and about and help local Indigenous businesses understand and get their tax and super right.

"So far, Reach Out has delivered business, financial and digital knowledge to around 450 Indigenous small businesses in the Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane areas.

For those on the look-out for employment opportunities, the ATO’s Evergreen Indigenous Pathways employment initiative has been supporting the career development of over 380 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, since 2014.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.ato.gov.au

Date Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2019

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