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  • Appendix 3: Legal services expenditure

    Our total legal expenditure has increased by approximately $4.6 million or 4.8% from last year, primarily due to increased funding and expenditure related to a short-term debt litigation compliance initiative.

    Table 4.4 ATO legal services expenditure, 2012–13 (a) (b)

    Total costs recovered

    $4,957,283

       

    Total external legal services expenditure (c)

    $65,848,333

    Total internal legal services expenditure(d)

    $40,298,948

    Total (external + internal) expenditure

    $106,147,281

    Summary of external legal services expenditure

     

    Total value of briefs to counsel

    $16,623,095

    Total value of disbursements (excluding counsel)

    $22,768,060

    Total value of professional fees paid

    $26,457,268

    Total external legal services expenditure

    $65,848,423

    Counsel (e)

     

    Number of briefs to male counsel

    493

    Number of briefs to female counsel

    158

    Total number of briefs to counsel

    651

    Number of direct briefs to male counsel

    721

    Number of direct briefs to female counsel

    272

    Total number of direct briefs to counsel

    993

    Total value of briefs to male counsel (including direct briefs)

    $12,286,010

    Total value of briefs to female counsel (including direct briefs)

    $4,337,085

    Total value of briefs to counsel

    $16,623,095

    Disbursements

     

    Total value of disbursements (excluding counsel)

    $22,768,060

    (a) Includes Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) legal costs for 2012–13. Total external legal services expenditure for TPB: $1,067,607. Total internal legal services expenditure for TPB: $2,587,235.
    (b) External expenditure reported above includes GST.
    (c) Excludes costs awarded against the ATO, external expenditure on compensation and legal costs attributable to the ATO's test case program.
    (d) Includes ATO and TPB internal legal services expenditure. We manage tax litigation (under Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953), debt litigation, general law and freedom of information. The total internal legal services expenditure consists of the cost of labour and expenses associated with our Legal Services Branch. The Tax Counsel Network performs core business of the ATO through the provision of interpretive advice on the more complex areas of tax and superannuation law. In addition there are business lines within the ATO where employees perform functions of a legal nature (for example preparation of writs, statutory demands and bankruptcy notices). The cost associated with the legal component of the work of these areas is not included.
    (e) 'Briefs' cover engagement of counsel by external legal firms acting on behalf of the ATO, generally in relation to litigation. 'Direct briefs' are where we have directly engaged counsel to work with our in-house lawyers or other business areas.
      Last modified: 03 Oct 2014QC 42602