Excellent working relationships

Privately owned and wealthy groups have told us they work with their tax advisers to meet their obligations and get things right. We may be working directly with your tax adviser to understand your circumstances.

Whether we work with you or your tax adviser, we want to have a productive and professional working relationship – one built on transparency and mutual respect.

We will engage with you early, providing access to ATO experts and clear escalation points to resolve issues. And we're improving our review and audit processes to give you certainty about the duration of our engagements and options to reduce timeframes and minimise the impacts on your business.

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Seeking advice from us

We'll provide access to ATO experts and decision-makers to help you or your tax adviser get things right up front. So we can provide advice for your circumstances in commercially realistic timeframes, it's best to:

  • talk to us as early as possible so that we can understand your circumstances and work with you to resolve any issues
  • maintain open and regular discussions on the facts, issues and the available information so we can ask for the right information
  • work together on setting timeframes for supplying information so we can progress your matter as quickly as possible
  • provide us with a central point of contact so we can keep you fully informed of our progress.

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Tax assurance engagements

When we engage with you or your tax adviser, including on reviews and audits, we want to establish a productive and professional working relationship built on transparency and mutual respect.

To support this relationship, we will:

  • be transparent in explaining why we have contacted you, what we know about you and any concerns, so there are no surprises
  • provide information about our risk assessment of you and the options available if you need to correct a mistake
  • provide you with access to a clear escalation point to resolve issues with the ATO.

We will work closely with you to:

  • develop a work plan as early as possible in our engagement to give you certainty around timeframes, being sensitive to commercial realities
  • agree on the most efficient channels for exchanges of information
  • use the data and information we already have and then identify any documents or alternative information that is needed to address our enquiries so that we reduce your compliance costs
  • clarify how we manage documents covered by legal professional privilege or the accountants’ concession
  • advise each other of issues as they arise to enable their prompt resolution
  • keep you updated regularly on the progress of the review or audit
  • discuss opportunities for voluntary disclosures or alternative dispute resolution where relevant.

While we will not always agree, we aim to reach a shared understanding on any contentious issues and the explanation or evidence needed for us to reach agreement.

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Engaging through consultation

We consult with you, your tax advisers, professional associations and industry stakeholders to improve our understanding of your business environment and current tax issues you face.

By working with you, we can identify the right areas to reduce red tape, minimise compliance costs, improve the administration of the tax and super systems, and increase willing participation.

You can:

Last modified: 02 Jun 2015QC 44825