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The ATO's Tax Tables are woeful

Hi Community

I have developed a system that calculates tax required to be withheld for casual workers. In order to determine the amount, we use the Tax table for daily and casual workers. The avid reader may see that the only format available is PDF and also provided is a calculator that has been locked down to the nth degree.

There is no CSV, there is no JSON, hell even XML would be preferable to a PDF.

“Not to worry, I’ll open the calculator and find a nice table of daily earnings and amount to withhold”. Nope. We have a single sheet locked and some very complex lookup tables that would take a day to decipher.

With a deep sigh, I think to myself “Strange… But understanble. What if we copy the PDF into Excel and use Paste Special, surely that would take care of it”. Nope. The way the PDF is formatted means that the data gets crammed into a single cell.

The data cannot even be pasted into a text editor and turned into a CSV using regex find and replace. In the end I had to use a program like pdftotext and copy and paste from there.

How can we improve this?

Hi @mulquin,

You can request tax stats data from the ATO through taxstats@ato.gov.au. Although the tax tables might not exactly fall under statistics releases, they may be able to help.

The ATO often release ad-hoc data under CC3.0-BY-AU as part of a single dataset on data.gov.au. It all seems to be xlsx, so not quite as easy as CSV, but much better than pdf.

I’m sure there will be others from the ATO on the forum, but will try and find the most appropriate area to fwd your feedback to :slight_smile:

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Hi Jacob, here’s the response from the Superannuation and Employer Obligations area:

“We will take that feedback on board for future years where we can also include an output file for NAT 1024 when we publish tax tables updates for software developers on the Digital Partnership Office website.”

So they do intend to improve the experience for those needing this level of detail. In the meantime, if you would like a copy of the output file you could request it by email to withholding@ato.gov.au.

Cheers,

Paul Stredwick

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Hi Paul,

Thankyou for relaying my feedback to the relevant team, I really appreciate it and look forward to making use of these tables next year!

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