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‘A law unto itself’, calls for royal commission into taxation office revived

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan has slammed a joint Four Corners and Fairfax Media investigation into the Australian Tax Office’s dealings with small business, saying it was an “overblown, sensational story”.

At the Senate estimates today, Mr Jordan says the investigation regurgitated “fairly extreme cases” to achieve the “sensational” effect.

Executive Director of Self-Employed Australia Ken Phillips was interviewed as part of the ABC’s investigation into the ATO and is hitting back at Mr Jordan’s complaints.

“I’ve got to say this very much reminds me… of the denials that the banks made about their behaviour,” Mr Phillips tells Ross Greenwood.

“We’ve got an organisation in the ATO that’s going, ‘nothing to see here folks’. Deny, deny, deny. Attack the people who are blowing the whistle.”

Mr Phillips says the internal operations of the taxation office can no longer be trusted.

“This is the policeman checking the policeman. That’s not good enough.”

Mr Phillips is going a step further and says a royal commission needs to be called to probe into the tax office.

“The taxation office is a law unto itself. The tax commissioner, under the Tax Act, has the powers of a dictator.”

Although the Tax Commissioner objected to the joint investigation, he announced the agency would trial an independent review into small business audits.

Click PLAY below for the full interview