Where tax complaints meet social media
Libin Hua is a Senior Tax Investigator with the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO). It’s a role that he says has given him the opportunity to do more than he initially thought.
“I’m a Taxation Ombudsman complaints officer. My previous training and experience was in tax compliance and audits. My core work involves assisting members of the community to resolve their tax complaints about the Australian Taxation Office and the Tax Practitioners’ Board,” Libin said.
The IGTO has a team of dedicated tax specialists, like Libin, operating from a single office with national responsibility.
“As a small agency all our team members wear multiple hats. It’s also part of our work philosophy to make our jobs deeper and more interesting. So in addition to tax complaints I’m also a member of the IGTO’s social media team who manages the content and engagement on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts which have reached over 1 million Australians in all states and territories,” said Libin. “We also get the opportunity to join in on other projects too.”
“It’s certainly been a learning curve, but I am grateful for the opportunity, especially when the two areas of work intersect and we can assist taxpayers,” Libin said.
“We’ve had multiple people come to us for assistance because they found out about our office through social media. In one case, we assisted a taxpayer through Facebook Messenger because she was unable to communicate through traditional telephone, email or post correspondence,” he said.
Three things Libin wishes people knew more about the IGTO:
- Our team of investigators are all tax professionals, trained in tax, law, accounting, economics or finance with complementary experience having worked for many years in the tax system. They also have strong people and communication skills. Our specialist team is also very diverse and well-equipped to help Australians navigate the tax system.
- Our services are most effective when taxpayers reach out to us early. While we will do everything we can to assist everyone coming to our office, it’s good to remember that the earlier they start, the better the outcome.
- We aim to provide holistic assistance because we know the tax system itself is not simple and it also interacts with other areas or agencies where people need help. We take time to understand and identify other APS or state-based agencies, or other services, which may be able to assist the complainant where we can’t.