Treating you as being honest in your affairs

Generally, you prepare the information you need to claim your entitlements and meet your obligations, then you give the information to us. Based on this information you either make or receive a payment.

We presume you are trying to meet your obligations. We accept that you tell us the truth and the information you provide is complete and accurate, unless we have reason to think otherwise.

We know people can make mistakes. Therefore, we will continue to believe you are trying to be honest in your affairs even if you make a mistake, unless we find evidence of:

  • carelessness
  • recklessness
  • intentional disregard of the law.

When we find a discrepancy, we take your circumstances into account when deciding what action to take. These include:

  • the reasons for the discrepancy
  • how well you have complied with your obligations in the past.

Your circumstances

We take your circumstances into account if they are relevant to a decision and the law allows us to. For example, if you have not followed the law it may have been because you did not understand what you needed to do, rather than because you tried to avoid paying the right amount of tax.

Relevant circumstances may also include how much you know about and understand the laws and your compliance history.

Compliance history

Your compliance history means the way you have complied with your obligations in the past.

You have a good compliance history if you have:

  • kept adequate records
  • tried your best to lodge complete and correct returns, statements and other documents
  • lodged your documents on time
  • paid your debts by the due date or made arrangements to pay them
  • no recent history of penalties for tax issues.
    Last modified: 05 Jan 2016QC 16682