• Settlements

    Guided by our Code of Settlement Practice, we continued to use settlements for resolving disputes, particularly where there were factual controversies and other litigation risks. We generally cannot settle disputes that turn upon a point of interpretation, where the Commissioner has an official view of the law that is applied to the general body of taxpayers, as that would be contrary to the principle of equity between taxpayers. However, only a small proportion of disputes are in this category; most tax disputes involve factual matters or issues of discretion or apportionment where it is open to us to settle on a reasonable basis.

    Consistent with our focus on earlier resolution, the number of cases settled in 2012–13 increased by 32.4%. This year, the largest increase in settlements occurred in the small-to-medium enterprise segment, along with a small number of significantly large settlements for large businesses.

    Table 2.20 Profile of settlements registered, 2012–13
      Settlements
    registered
    No.
    Pre-settlement
    position
    $m
    Settled
    position
    $m
    Variance
    $m

    Individuals

    61

    108

    37

    71

    Highly wealthly individuals

    37

    418

    171

    247

    Micro enterprises

    126

    214

    69

    145

    Small-to-medium enterprises

    87

    181

    111

    70

    Large businesses

    28

    2,643

    1,646

    997

    TOTAL

    339

    3,564

    2,034

    1,530

    NOTES
    Totals may differ from the sum of components due to rounding.
    There were no settlements for non-profit and government organisations in 2012–13.
      Last modified: 02 Mar 2015QC 42735