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  • Reference guide for private rulings

    This reference guide will help you complete the private ruling application form. For further information on private rulings, refer to private rulings.

    Before you start

    Before you start the ruling 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.

    Find out about:

    Section A: Taxpayer details

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

    Is this taxpayer an individual or an entity?

    Select whether the private ruling will be for an individual or an entity. An entity can be a company, a partnership, a trust or a superannuation fund.

    For a ruling 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 to whom the ruling will apply 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

    Provide details of how you will be lodging the ruling application.

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

    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 to whom the ruling will apply, 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.

    Is there, or has there been, an audit on the issues raised in this ruling request, or have you been notified of a proposed audit?

    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).

    Has oral or written advice or a ruling been provided or requested on any of these issues before?

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

    Subject of the ruling

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

    This ruling applies for the following period(s)

    Provide the income year(s) or other accounting period(s) to be covered by the ruling.

    Section C: Your ruling

    Select the type of ruling application you would like to submit

    Indicate if you will be providing information about the facts and circumstances for the ATO to determine the ruling, or if you will be including detailed reasoning to support your application.

    • Follow these steps if you are asking us to determine the ruling.
    • Follow these steps if you will be providing detailed reasoning to support your application.

    Question

    List the question or questions you want the ruling to address. The question(s) 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 a private ruling about specific tax laws. More information is in Taxation Ruling TR 2006/11 Private Rulings.

    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 ruling.

    Our website provides details of supporting information that is required for private rulings on certain topics. You should ensure you provide this information, or include relevant extracts from the documents in your description.

    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.

    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 the question or questions on which you want a private ruling. The question(s) 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 a private ruling about specific tax laws. More information on this is in TR 2006/11 Private Rulings.

    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 ruling.

    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 private rulings on certain topics. 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 ruling will be covering.

    Reasons for decision

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

    • Summary – which 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 – which 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, post or delivering by hand.

    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: 19 Dec 2017QC 54118