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TPB biannual research

TPB biannual research

Background

In the past, we've used a variety of research techniques including, utilising consumer confidence survey results of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as well as commissioned research by external agencies.

Our research has focused on the relationship between the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), tax practitioners, and consumers of tax practitioner services. It seeks to inform decision-making within the TPB to improve our services and communication of key messages.


Refinement of our research approach

In 2019 we adjusted our approach. Rather than large scale, infrequent surveys of the majority of the tax practitioner population, we commenced smaller, six monthly surveys. The objective is to gain a longitudinal understanding into:

  • consumer confidence in tax professional services including tax practitioner obligations and the benefits of using a registered tax practitioner
  • providing a benchmark on consumer awareness of the TPB and tax practitioner registration
  • supplementing existing ATO research findings regarding community perceptions of tax professionals
  • performance perceptions of the TPB.


Biannual Survey Methodology

The biannual survey presents both consumers of tax practitioner services and tax practitioners with a 5-7 minute questionnaire. Participant data is provided by the ATO and is both randomised and de-identified. We've no access to identified data.

5% of tax practitioners are surveyed every six months, so a tax practitioner may expect to receive a survey once every 10 years, on average. 12,000 consumers are surveyed each time.

Surveys are delivered via email to randomly selected participants using the research tool Qualtrics. The survey is voluntary and we (by intention) have no means of knowing who either receives or responds to the survey.

We follow best-practice advice for online surveys by not publicising that research is taking place. This prevents online phishing campaigns and protects the tax practitioner community from fraudsters who attempt to steal private information by mimicking survey emails.


Results

The survey provides insights into awareness and understanding, the overall effectiveness of TPB operations, and consumer perceptions. We do not publish the results externally, although the findings inform information given to tax practitioners through eNews, webinars, and presentations to stakeholder forums.


Future

The ATO has advised it may not be able to support future surveys due to operational constraints, so we'll commission our own, identical surveys through external research providers in the future.

Also, we'll continue to commission one-time, in-depth research activities into important areas within our area of responsibility, such as understanding the motivations and behaviour of unregistered tax service providers.


Last modified: 10 June 2020