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The ATO Get’s All Street With the Youth

June 8, 2012 by Ben Collins in Ben Collins with 0 Comments


The Australian Taxation Office have launched a video competition for university students, offering a $5,000 prize for the winning entry.

The entrant must create an awareness video on either the ATO’s efforts to promote a sustainable society, or the importance of Tax File Number security. The prize is generous for the Government but what is truly laughable is the language used on the website to try and connect with young people.

The page kicks off with a “thanks for stopping by” which is a phrase that has never been repeated on any other of the more than 2.4 million pages on Australian Taxation Office’s website.

For those who are interested, they are advised to “get cracking” on their entry. Remember, this is for students, so tax accountants are excluded. I would just love to know which bureaucrat was tasked with the drafting of this page, because it was most certainly not someone who has been in contact with someone young in a long time.

It is particularly cringe worthy when it comes from the Government department that, and let’s be honest here, we were brought up to despise. Don’t get me wrong, the ATO do an essential job and without them we wouldn’t have running water and all the good stuff our economy affords us. As a tax accountant in Sydney CBD, I rely on the convoluted tax system to make a living. But let’s face it, if the ATO were a kid at school, no one would be playing with that kid.

However, if you happen to be one of those kids that used to tell on the other kids for misbehaving when the teacher turned her back… then you should get cracking and help the ATO look good for young cool people.

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