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  • Conduct, feedback and independent review

    We want to have ongoing, open and frank discussions during the course of a review or audit. At the outset, we'll assign a case officer who you can contact if you have any issues or concerns. In addition, you can request a review of the ATO's audit position.

    Expectations during compliance activities

    Both parties should seek to:

    • have ongoing, open and frank discussions and agree on a case plan upfront
    • participate in meetings to identify any issues that could delay or disrupt the process, and agree on contingencies
    • agree on realistic timeframes
    • provide relevant information about processes, as well as facts and evidence, in a timely manner
    • clarify issues as they arise so they can be resolved efficiently
    • provide prompt and ongoing access to key personnel and escalation points
    • undertake genuine efforts to resolve disagreements, including consideration of dispute resolution processes
    • recognise that sometimes we may have to agree to disagree
    • agree upfront on how to handle relevant documents covered by legal professional privilege, the accountants' concession, or the concession applying to corporate board advice on tax compliance risk.

    See also:

    Escalating issues

    You can provide open and honest feedback, or raise concerns, without it influencing our view or future interactions with us.

    At the start of a review or audit we will notify you of the key ATO contact for your case. If you have any issues with how the case is being conducted or the tax risks involved, you should raise these issues with the case officer first.

    If you are not satisfied with the case officer's response, you should contact their team leader.

    If you remain unsatisfied with our response, you can escalate the issue to the team leader's immediate manager, who will consider the matter and contact you to discuss your concerns.

    Higher consequence taxpayers can also raise concerns and issues through their relationship manager.

    Talking to us early will help resolve issues, and if issues need to be escalated you will have access to our decision-makers.

    Independent review of position paper

    You may have the opportunity to request an independent review of the statement of audit position prior to us making our final decision.

    The review will be conducted by a senior officer in our Law Design and Practice Group who has had no involvement in the audit process.

    See also:

    General Anti-Avoidance Rules Panel

    The General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) Panel helps to administer Part IVA and other general anti-avoidance provisions. It ensures decisions about applying these provisions are objectively based and well-considered. The panel's role is advisory but our decision-maker must take the panel's advice into account.

    Except in exceptional circumstances, matters are generally referred to the panel after we have issued a position paper and considered your response.

    The panel may consider matters without your response where:

    • you have chosen not to respond to the position paper
    • there are time constraints
    • a reasonable time has passed without a response.

    To help the panel provide us with advice, you will usually be invited to address the panel meeting. Before attending a panel meeting you will also be asked to provide a written submission.

    See also:

    Feedback questionnaire

    We give clients the option to complete a short survey as the final step of our interaction. This can be completed anonymously. We highly value client feedback as a part of our ongoing efforts to reinvent and continually improve the client experience.

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    Last modified: 10 Apr 2017QC 45141