To foster and encourage an open and continuous dialogue between the ATO and taxpayers during risk reviews and audits, the IGT recommends that, where legal analysis and application of the law to the facts is required, the ATO should, before undertaking detailed analysis and application of the law:
- ensure the taxpayer understands the nature of the ATO’s concerns
- afford the taxpayer an opportunity to present their own understanding of the facts, whether in writing or in conference with relevant ATO officers, or a combination of the two as the case may be
- at the earliest practicable point in time during the compliance process, clearly communicate its understanding of the facts of a case to the taxpayer; and
- ensure that the taxpayer’s view of the facts is concisely summarised in any correspondence, interim audit reports, position papers or other relevant document and, where possible, communicate the reasons why it has disagreed with the taxpayer’s understanding of the facts.
We agreed in principle with this recommendation and implementation was completed on 20 August 2013.
The Taxpayers' charter - if you're subject to a review or audit publication has been revised to include an increased emphasis on active case management and early dispute resolution through increased, open and continuous dialogue.