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State of play of tax governance for life sciences

State of play of tax governance for life sciences

The ATO is now a couple of years into their program of assessing tax governance in Top 100 and Top 1000 organisations as part of the Justified Trust methodology. Watch a short snapshot video from KPMG's Phil Beswick, where he provides an overview of ATO’s tax governance rating results, as well as his full presentation in the recording of our Life Sciences Tax Update Webinar held on 28 August 2019.

Philip Beswick

Director, Tax Governance & Transformation

KPMG Australia


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What are the tax governance results to date?

The ATO issues what is called a Stage Rating for tax governance; Stage 1 being the baseline, Stage 3 being the gold standard. Of the Top 1000 population 70 percent of groups are achieving a Stage 1 rating and only 1 percent achieving the Stage 3 rating. More Top 100 groups are achieving Stage 2.

Why are many groups only achieving Stage 1?

There are two drivers of this, firstly a number of groups are still in the early days of developing a fully featured governance framework. Secondly, the amount of evidence to demonstrate that effective measures are in place and working may be limited.

Key actions to undertake

  • Build out governance frameworks, with an emphasis on the key controls and what is the evidence to demonstrate those controls are operating effectively. This includes testing of controls.
  • Engage boards and senior management on the topic through talking in terms of risk management and controls, concepts that resonate at higher levels of any business.
  • Start preparing for GST based governance reviews.
  • Undertaking a gap analysis against the ATO requirements is a sensible place to start if not already undertaken.

Presentation slides

View a copy of the slide presentation from the webinar.

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