The national broadcaster is standing by its investigation into the tax office after drawing criticism from Australian Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan, who accused it of being irresponsible for making "unsubstantiated claims".
Mr Jordan lashed the ABC and Fairfax Media during a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday for providing a distorted picture of what is happening at the Australian Taxation Office.
He said there is absolutely no evidence this his department can get it wrong in one in 20 tax cases.
"Scaring or deterring anyone from facing up to their tax obligations and working with us to resolve those issues is simply irresponsible," Mr Jordan said.
He believes the ABC is working against its code of practice.
"Seriously, how appropriate is it to have the title of the Four Corners program, 'Mongrel Bunch of Bastards'," Mr Jordan said.
"It is highly offensive and inaccurate".
In a statement, the ABC said the title came from the sentiment expressed by one business owner interviewed for the program.
It believes the joint investigation with Fairfax Media was as an important story that addressed an issue of "real and pressing significance", being whistleblower allegations that small business and individuals have been targeted by the ATO to meet revenue goals.
"No official complaint has been received from the ATO. If one is received it will be investigated according to our usual procedures," the ABC said.
The report prompted two separate investigations into the ATO by Treasury and the independent Inspector-General of Taxation.
The Four Corners program that aired in April examined evidence from businesses, ATO staff, lobby groups, lawyers and academics about the difficulties of challenging tax office assessments.
Mr Jordan admitted that in a large institution like the ATO, human mistakes will be made.
He said while the ATO could do better, it does well when compared with other tax authorities.
"Not everybody does the right thing and some, when caught out, go to great lengths to criticise the ATO," he said.
Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh noted that since the coalition came to office it had cut over 4000 jobs from the tax office.
"That has made it harder than ever for the ATO to perform at the level Australians expect," Dr Leigh told AAP.