Show download pdf controls
  • Reference guide for private rulings

    This reference guide will help you complete the private ruling application form. This form is also used to apply for administratively binding advice (ABA).

    See also:

    Before you start

    Before you start the application, we ask if you – or the taxpayer if you are applying on behalf of someone else – are seriously considering the scheme or circumstance. A scheme would not be seriously considered if it is hypothetical, speculative or not sufficiently developed. In these circumstances we may decline to rule.

    On this page:

    Section A: Taxpayer details

    This section provides details of who the advice is for. Complete the fields for as many taxpayers as required.

    Is this taxpayer an individual or an entity?

    Select whether the advice is for an individual or an entity. An entity can be a company, partnership, trust or superannuation fund.

    For advice about indirect taxes (GST, wine tax or the luxury car tax), it can also be a member or representative member of a GST group, or a participant in a GST joint venture.

    Is this taxpayer registered for GST?

    Indicate if the individual or entity that the advice will apply to is registered for GST.

    If yes, indicate whether the business is registered as a GST branch, and if so the details of the parent entity.

    Section B: Contact person and required information

    Contact details

    Provide details of the person we can contact if we have questions about the application. If the contact person is not the individual or entity that the advice will apply to, specify if they are authorised to act for the taxpayer in this matter.

    If you are a tax professional, include your registered agent number and practice name.

    Provide details of how you'll lodge the ruling application

    If you are not lodging through the portal, you will need to provide information about the application as indicated. If you are lodging through the portal, these questions are asked at that time.

    For the issues raised in this application, indicate any interactions you have had with us

    If an audit has taken place or you have been notified of a proposed audit, provide the ATO reference number and the name of the tax officer involved (if known).

    If you have asked for oral or written advice or a ruling on any of the issues that you are now seeking advice on, provide the ATO reference number and the date of the ruling or advice.

    Subject of the advice

    Select the relevant subject or subjects of your advice, or select ‘other’ if it is not listed.

    This application applies for the following periods

    Provide the income years or other accounting periods to be covered by the advice.

    Section C: Your ruling

    Select the type of application you would like to submit

    Indicate if you will provide information about the facts and circumstances for us to determine the advice, or if you will include detailed reasoning to support your application.

    • Follow these steps if you are asking us to determine the advice.
    • Follow these steps if you will provide detailed reasoning to support your application.

    Question

    List and number the questions you want us to address. The questions should be structured to allow a 'yes' or 'no' answer. For example:

    • Will the travel be an allowable deduction?

    Note that we can only give advice about specific tax laws or on certain topics.

    Relevant facts and circumstances

    Provide a full description of the facts or circumstances. Include all material facts, transaction dates and the names of other parties actively involved. These details need to be reasonably certain as they will define the scheme that is the subject of the advice.

    Our website provides details of supporting information that is required for many categories of private ruling applications. Ensure you provide this information, or include relevant extracts from the documents in your description.

    Assumptions

    You may need to include an assumption if an issue requires you to know or assert a fact, and it is impossible to verify the fact with reasonable certainty.

    If you have to include an assumption, you should also include the reason why you made the assumption.

    Other information (optional)

    Include any other information about how you think the law applies to the scheme, and any research and analysis you have done.

    Next steps

    Providing your own detailed reasoning

    You can choose to provide your detailed reasoning on the form itself or attach a separate document. You can refer to the Style guide and Examples for assistance in developing and formatting this reasoning.

    Question

    List and number the questions you want us to address. The questions should include the relevant legislative provision and be structured to allow a 'yes' or 'no' answer. For example:

    • Will the travel be an allowable deduction under section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997?

    Note that we can only give advice about specific tax laws or on certain topics.

    Answer

    Record a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer for each question you have raised.

    Relevant facts and circumstances

    Provide a full description of the facts or circumstances. Include all material facts, transaction dates and the names of other parties actively involved. These details need to be reasonably certain as they will define the scheme that is the subject of the advice.

    The relevant facts or circumstances can be an outline of steps in a proposed transaction. Material facts are facts that determine how the provision applies or does not apply.

    Our website provides details of supporting information that is required for many categories of private ruling applications. You should ensure you provide this information, or include relevant extracts from the documents in your description.

    Do not include subjective judgment or opinions or statements that are subject to contention.

    Assumptions

    You may need to include an assumption where an issue requires you to know or assert a fact, and it is impossible to verify the fact with reasonable certainty.

    If you have to include an assumption, you should also include the reason why you made the assumption.

    Relevant legislative provisions

    List the legislative provisions the advice will be covering.

    Reasons for decision

    A reason for decision is required for each question in the advice application – broken into a:

    • Summary – provides a brief statement of the decision. For example, the travel will be an allowable deduction under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997.
    • Detailed reasoning – provides detailed reasons on how you reached the answers to your questions. Outline the applicable elements of the law to the material facts as described in the relevant facts or circumstances. For example, start with the relevant legislation, case law and any published views or rulings by the Commissioner of Taxation. Apply the facts and circumstances outlined above to these authorities to arrive at a conclusion.

    Section D: Declaration

    The declaration must be signed if you are lodging the application via fax or post.

    No signature is required if you are lodging the application via the Tax Agent or Business Portal.

    Section E: How to lodge your application

    If you are lodging by fax or post, use the appropriate fax number or postal address provided when you select your entity type or matter from the drop down menu.

      Last modified: 23 Oct 2018QC 54118