From our involvement in recent matters across all parts of the tax practice, we continue to see the ATO asking taxpayers to provide contemporaneous evidence to support assertions made about tax positions taken.
We are also seeing that accurate record keeping by all parties is playing a key role in ensuring that taxpayers manage an ATO review with minimal disruption to their day-to-day operations.
The key to accurate record keeping is to ensure that:
- records of transactions are detailed, accurate and, most importantly, prepared on a timely basis. This includes records about the taxpayers’ / their representatives’ dealings with ATO review teams
- have written correspondence (including emails) that taxpayers would be satisfied being provided to the ATO (or a court, if the dispute ever gets to litigation) in support of the tax position adopted or subsequent actions taken to manage the ATO review process.
In our experience, contemporaneous documentation and record keeping, covering the who, what, why, how, when and where of the transaction is fundamental if taxpayers wish to manage an ATO review process with minimal disruption to their business.