• Service: Tax, Global Compliance Management Services, International Tax
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 6/12/2013

Australia - Effects of ATO’s position paper in tax disputes 

June 12:  An Australian Taxation Office (ATO) “position paper” on a tax matter in dispute is not formally part of the self-assessment system, but it is vital to it.

Problems with the ATO’s position papers—i.e., quality, timeliness, and process—as identified by the Inspector General in a 2011 report into the ATO’s large business risk review and audit policies, continue to exist.

For taxpayers, the challenge lies in not only in presenting their case again to the ATO (both fact and argument), but also in dealing forcefully with any areas of misunderstanding and / or disagreement expressed in the ATO’s position paper. A properly constructed and detailed critique is the best option.

Taxpayers that anticipate a position paper need to be ready to deal with the demands it presents in a very short time. Preparation needs to begin beforehand. The ATO’s position paper will be the basis for any future dispute.

Read a June 2013 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Australia: Starting from scratch (again?)

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