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  • Recommendation 4.9

    Subject to the caveats previously outlined regarding when ADR may not be appropriate, the IGTO recommends that the ATO consults with external stakeholders on developing a mechanism which enables taxpayers to request initiation of ADR (including direct negotiation) with the ATO, to wholly or partly resolve matters in dispute at the most appropriate point in time, such as:

    • once agreement has been reached on the facts or both parties believe that the facts in contention have been sufficiently narrowed
    • prior to a position paper or reasons for decision being issued
    • after the position paper has issued but prior to the amended assessment
    • prior to the lodgment of an objection; and
    • prior to issuance of an objection decision.

    Where the ATO considers that ADR is not appropriate, or not appropriate at a particular point in time, the reasons for the ATO’s view in this regard should be communicated to the taxpayer with an alternative as to how the issues concerning the taxpayer could otherwise best be addressed.

    ATO response

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

    We consulted with the National Tax Liaison Group Dispute Resolution sub-committee on 4 March 2013, and a mechanism for seeking Alternative Dispute Resolution was incorporated into Practice Statement PS LA 2013/3 - Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in ATO Disputes, which replaces PS LA 2007/23 (withdrawn effective 31 July 2013). Paragraphs 19-22 provide information on how to initiate ADR.

      Last modified: 25 Oct 2019QC 40262