Commissioner's foreword

Portrait of Paul Broderick, Commissioner of State Revenue

During 2014-15, the SRO was responsible for the collection of more than $14.3 billion in revenue. This comprised $5.6 billion in payroll tax, $4.9 billion in land transfer duties and $1.75 billion in land tax. This compares to $13.2 billion last year. The increase of $1.1 billion can largely be attributed to a buoyant property market that resulted in a significant increase in land transfer duty over 2013-14.

This year has also seen a continued strong focus on compliance activities with almost 11,000 cases being audited resulting in additional revenue of about $338.9 million. However, not only does the SRO follow up on non-compliance, it also tries to educate taxpayers and potential taxpayers as to their obligations. Last year we ran more than 100 webinars streamed to participants across Victoria and beyond.

In addition, our website was totally reviewed and the new one was released on 1 July 2015. The new site was built with the direct input of taxpayers, and the feedback we have received is that it is a significant improvement over the last one, especially in terms of simplified content, ease of use and search functions.

The SRO met 29 out of 30 KPIs with overall customer satisfaction being measured at 95 per cent. The SRO also won a government award for digital services and released updated versions of many of its electronic transactions to make it as easy as possible to deal with us.

In terms of the more tax technical aspects of our work, we managed to exceed our target of 80 per cent of objections completed within 90 days achieving a figure of 86 per cent as well as completing 83 per cent of private rulings within the designated time of 90 days. In addition we managed to settle over two thirds of the 137 legal referrals we received during the year. Of the matters that did proceed to court the SRO won 83 per cent of them which is an excellent result which continues to protect the revenue base. We also smoothly implemented the Government's legislative agenda which included four major pieces of legislation: Back to Work Scheme, foreign purchaser additional duty, the metropolitan planning levy and extension of the congestion levy area.

We continued our strong focus on technology by implementing new Duties Online transactions which increased DOL take-up rates to more than 90 per cent. We also continued to rebuild the core revenue management system while making major advances in the use of business intelligence and other technologies to assist customers and to make the SRO more efficient. In September 2014 the SRO was awarded an Oracle prize for innovation presented at its conference in San Francisco.

All of these achievements could not have been possible without the strong commitment of our staff who have worked hard to provide very high standards of revenue management services to the Victorian Government and all our customers. The SRO has a strong commitment to the well-being of its staff with high levels of training, a low turnover rate, very few compensable injuries or grievances, and an overall very positive attitude. Our staff are professional, courteous and fair when dealing with taxpayers. In general, staff work at the SRO for almost twice the tenure of the average Victorian public service person.

2014-15 has been a year of continuing achievements. I would particularly like to thank our fantastic senior executive team for their efforts in making this all happen as well as the support of our colleagues at the Department of Treasury and Finance.

The main areas of focus in 2015-16 will be the implementation of the Victorian Government’s new initiatives; ramping up our compliance activities with the use of technology; meeting all of our KPIs and working to make the SRO an even better place to work for our staff. It is a pleasure to work in such a high-achieving organisation.