We will only seek access to restricted source documents and non-source documents in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of a designated senior officer.
We may consider there are exceptional circumstances and lift the accountants' concession when:
- the documents provided do not enable us to determine the tax consequences of the particular transactions or arrangements
- the law requires us to determine the purpose for which a transaction or arrangement was entered into – for example, under Part IVA of the ITAA 1936 or the promoter penalty laws
- we have reasonable suspicion of tax evasion or fraud, an offence under the TAA or any other illegal activity
- there is a likelihood that your source documents may be lost or destroyed.
The accountants’ concession is not the same as legal professional privilege – there are several significant differences, including:
- a request for tax advice or instructions is not protected by the concession
- you cannot redact part of a document based on the concession because it is based on a sole purpose test.
If we intend to lift the concession, we will specify the nature of the exceptional circumstances we intend to rely on. In most cases, you will be given adequate opportunity to respond and argue your position.