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  • Subpoenaing the ATO

    What is a subpoena?

    A subpoena is a court order to produce documents to the court.

    How to get your own tax information from us

    Your own basic information

    If you want your own basic tax information, you can request copies of tax documents. You don't need to apply under freedom of information (FOI) or serve us with a subpoena. You can access the request form at Copies of tax documents request – individuals.

    You can also apply for documents under FOI, but we cannot give you access to documents about anyone else's tax information. You can access an FOI application form at Freedom of information (FOI) request – individuals and businesses.

    Tax law disputes with us

    If you have a dispute with us about a tax matter, and the matter is already in court, we encourage you to contact us about releasing our information about your dispute.

    Tax law disputes are disputes about:

    • your tax liability
    • your tax debt
    • your departure prohibition order
    • a decision under a tax law.

    If you need your tax information to help you understand your tax affairs or help you resolve a dispute with us, contact the ATO officer listed on our correspondence with you.

    If you decide to subpoena us, we do not require payment.

    Our addresses for service of a subpoena can be found at Practice Statement Law Administration PS LA 2002/4. We accept service of subpoenas by mail.

    Non-tax law subpoenas

    In all non-tax law disputes, under the tax confidentiality provisions we can't be required to comply with a subpoena for anyone's tax information and we can't disclose your tax information under subpoena. See Division 355 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953External Link.

    If we are served with a subpoena ordering us to disclose tax information, we will contact the subpoenaing party and the court and explain why we can't comply. We may ask the court to order you to pay our costs if the subpoena is not withdrawn.

    Before serving us with a subpoena in a non-tax law dispute, we encourage you to contact us on 1800 005 172.

    Non-tax law disputes include:

    • family breakdown
    • personal injury claims
    • contractual disagreements.

    If you decide to subpoena us, we do not require payment at the time of service, however as stated above, if we cannot comply we may ask the court to order you to pay our costs if the subpoena is not withdrawn.

    Our addresses for service of a subpoena can be found at Practice Statement Law Administration PS LA 2002/4. We accept service of subpoenas by mail.

      Last modified: 02 Jul 2018QC 40287