Dispute resolution with the ATO

The Tax Office’s handling of dispute
resolution is receiving significant focus at present. Both the House of
Representatives Tax and Revenue Committee and the Inspector-General of Taxation
are conducting inquiries into the matter.

As reported to us by members,
over the past 18 months, we have noticed genuine and significant improvements
in the way that tax disputes are handled by the ATO.

However, there remains room for
improvement in a number of areas, including:

  • Engagement and cooperation at review and audit stage;
  • Flexibility in internal ATO timeframes, in particular to avoid the unnecessary escalation or progression of a matter that may otherwise have been resolved or limited;
  • Opportunities for early engagement and resolution outside of the large business and high wealth individual areas;
  • Technical expertise within the ATO; and
  • Independence at objection and independent review stages.

Structural change to the way
that objections, reviews and litigation are managed within the ATO may be
constructive. On balance, The Tax Institute supports the establishment of a
separate appeals area within the ATO.

You may view our complete
submission to the Parliamentary Committee

We look forward to engaging further in the coming weeks with the
Tax and Revenue Committee and the Inspector-General on these important issues.
Robert Jeremenko

Robert Jeremenko CTA is Senior Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute. 

The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.


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