Federal Court

You can appeal to the Federal Court:

  • for an independent review of our decision on your objection
  • if you disagree with decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) on the basis of a question of law.

Your appeal must be in writing and be lodged within 60 days of the date of the notice advising you of our decision on your objection.

After you file an application or appeal with the Federal Court we send you a statement that sets out the relevant facts, the issues and our contentions. We also send you a copy of our documents relevant to the case.

You can appear in court in person or be represented by a legal practitioner.


Court proceedings are more formal and costly than tribunal hearings. Your case may involve a variety of fees. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may also have to pay the Commissioner's legal costs.

Further action

If you're dissatisfied with the decision of a single judge of the Federal Court, you have the right to appeal to the Full Federal Court.

If you're still dissatisfied after a Full Federal Court decision, you may be able to appeal to the High Court of Australia, but only with special leave of the High Court.

Under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (ADJR Act), the Federal Circuit Court and the Federal Court have the power to review many of our decisions.

Decisions that are reviewable under the ADJR Act include our decisions made under any tax law on:

  • applications for additional time to lodge
  • penalties and charges for late lodgement
  • deferring time to lodge or permitting payments by instalments
  • reducing charges for late payment.

Either court can set aside the decision and refer the case back to us for further consideration. They can also look into a case if we have failed to make a decision and direct us to make a decision.

Requests for reviews under the ADJR Act must be lodged within 28 days of the date of the notice advising you of our decision on your objection.

Decision impact statements (DIS)

We publish a decision impact statement (DIS) to advise the community of the ATO's view on the implications of a particular court or tribunal decision.

See also:

Last modified: 01 Jun 2015QC 33829