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  • Recommendation 4.5

    With a view to resolving valuation disputes without resorting to litigation, the IGTO recommends that the ATO:

    • where both parties agree, adopt a process of expert valuer conferencing, like those utilised by the Federal Court, to ensure that conflicting experts are afforded an opportunity to meet independently and discuss their different expert opinions with a view to resolving or narrowing these differences;
    • where the expert opinions cannot be reconciled at the conferences, implementing a procedure to ensure that all valuation disputes be referred to ADR (for example, early neutral evaluation) unless there are clear reasons why ADR would be inappropriate (for example, where engagement in ADR impinges on international agreements the ATO has with other jurisdictions); and
    • where an ATO officer decides not to engage in ADR in these cases, that officer must provide reasons as to why ADR is not appropriate in the circumstances and obtain authority from a duly authorised senior officer.

    ATO response

    We agreed with this recommendation and implementation was completed on 19 November 2013.

    We have issued Practice Statement PS LA 2013/3 - Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in ATO Disputes to replace PS LA 2007/23 (withdrawn effective 31 July 2013).

    Appendix B of PS LA 2013/3 includes additional information addressing circumstances where the parties jointly engage an independent expert to resolve a dispute, including valuation issues.

    Paragraphs 57-59 cover the process of expert valuer conferencing to discuss how their different valuations were obtained. Paragraph 60 states that ADR may still be appropriate when valuer conferencing has failed to resolve a dispute. Paragraph 61 states that in cases when we decide not to engage in ADR, this decision must be reviewed and approved by an independent senior executive officer.

      Last modified: 25 Oct 2019QC 40262