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 ...

Strange things people have claimed as tax deductions

You may be wondering what you can deduct in your tax return. We all know the deductions for work-related travel and laundry costs for a uniform, but what else can you deduct? I've trawled through the ATO’s Register of Private Binding Rulings to find some of the stranger deductions that taxpayers have been allowed. Guard Dogs The ...

Do you have to pay tax on eBay sales? The ATO is watching.

I have a friend who buys and sells Lego on eBay. He loves it. He buys a piece and keeps it on the shelf for a while - always still in its box, always in pristine condition. Eventually, he sells it to fund his next Lego purchase. He usually makes a profit on his ...
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