Tax Audits, Objections & Appeals

7 tips for a successful phone call to the ATO

If you're stressed about making a call to the ATO, then these 7 steps will help. As a tax disputes expert, I spend a lot of time on the phone to the ATO, sorting out problems for my clients. I follow these steps for every phone call I make - and you should too. 1. Call ...

Why a notice of estimate of liability from the ATO means trouble

The ATO can issue a 'Notice of estimate of liability' (or an 'Estimate Notice') if it believes that you have overdue: pay as you go (PAYG) withholding amounts; or superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) that has not been assessed. An Estimate Notice is a formal notice that the ATO can issue under section 268-15 of Schedule 1 ...

Don’t get caught out by an ATO default assessment

A default assessment is an assessment of income tax issued to you by the ATO, based on the amount of tax that the ATO thinks you should pay. The ATO can issue a default assessment in two situations: Where you have not lodged a return, notice or another document that you must to lodge.  ...

Using ATO in-house facilitation to resolve tax disputes

I recently represented a client in a drawn-out dispute with the ATO about how the tax law applied to a particular amount of money. We had applied for a Private Ruling, but we didn’t get the answer we wanted. Instead of objecting to that Private Ruling (click here to find out why), we lodged tax ...

Why objecting to a private ruling can be a very bad idea

Usually, when you disagree with a decision made by the ATO, you lodge an objection. You can object to most decisions made by the ATO, including a private ruling. Even though you can object to a private ruling, you should consider whether you should. What is a private ruling? The tax law says that the ...

Lessons learnt about how to apply for a Private Ruling

Private rulings are decisions by the ATO about your particular situation. You can apply to the ATO to tell you, in a Private Ruling, how it will apply the tax law to your situation. If you take actions that are consistent with the Ruling, then the ATO can only tax you in the ...

Division 353 Notices – how do they work?

The ATO uses Division 353 Notices (including section 353-10 Notices and section 353-15 Notices) as a way of getting information out of you, or others. If the ATO are at your door now, go read about what you absolutely must know first, and come back here later. If you've received a notice in the ...

Legal professional privilege and the ATO

The ATO have broad powers to access documents, including under a Division 353 Notice, but there are some limits to these powers. One of the most important limitations is that the ATO does not have the right to access documents that are protected by legal professional privilege (LPP). What is Legal Professional Privilege? LPP is ...
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