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  • General Anti-Avoidance Rules Panel

    Information about the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) Panel role, membership lists and secretariat contact.

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    The application of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) is a serious matter, and we acknowledge that a GAAR should be applied only after careful and full consideration of the facts. We have established the GAAR Panel (the Panel) to advise on the application of GAARs to particular arrangements.

    The Panel

    The Panel helps in the administration of the GAARs by providing independent advice to our decision-makers on matters referred to the Panel.

    It is made up of:

    • business and professional people chosen for their ability to provide expert informed advice
    • senior ATO staff.

    Currently, the Panel meets in Sydney, with several Melbourne meetings scheduled each calendar year. It:

    • has a purely consultative role
    • does not make the relevant decision but its advice is considered by our decision makers
    • does not investigate or find facts, or arbitrate disputed contentions
    • provides advice based on contentions of fact which have been put forward by ATO staff and by the taxpayer.

    When matters are referred to the Panel

    Matters for which the GAARs may apply are referred to the Panel before a final decision is made. Special rules apply to the referral of private rulings and class rulings.

    This is set out in paragraphs 18 to 23 of PS LA 2005/24Application of General Anti-Avoidance Rules.

    Support and membership of the Panel

    Membership of the panel is listed in the following table. As of the 2023 calendar year, the Honourable Tony Pagone AM, KC and the Honourable Jennifer Davies SC have joined the existing members of the GAAR Panel.

    Panel membership



    Peter Walmsley (Chair)

    Deputy Chief Tax Counsel

    Deborah Vegar

    Assistant Commissioner

    Gavin O'Shea

    Assistant Commissioner

    Jenny Lin

    Assistant Commissioner

    Larry Magid

    External consultant

    The Hon. Kevin Lindgren AM, KC

    External consultant

    Tony Pane

    External consultant

    David Williams

    External consultant

    Tony Slater, KC

    External consultant

    The Hon. Ron Merkel, KC

    External consultant

    Ann O'Connell

    External consultant

    The Hon. Tony Pagone AM, KC

    External consultant

    The Hon. Jennifer Davies, SC

    External consultant


    Support for the Panel is provided by the Office of the Chief Tax Counsel.

    Contact details

    Email: GAAR Panel Secretariat

      Last modified: 21 Mar 2023QC 40643