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How to lodge a complaint about us and how we will work with you on your complaint.

Last updated 10 April 2024

Before lodging a complaint

Understand your options

Before you lodge a complaint, check the options we have to assist you with your issue.

Decisions about your tax or super

If you disagree with a decision we have made about your tax or super, talk with the ATO officer you've been dealing with and, if necessary, their manager. It will help you understand the issues, even if you still don't agree. If you still think we made a wrong decision, ask us to review the decision. See Dispute or object to an ATO decision for more details about your options.

Interest charges or penalties

To request a remission to reduce or cancel interest charges or penalties on unpaid tax liabilities, see Request remission of interest or penalties.

Scams or tip-offs

If you are concerned that someone is not paying their tax or intentionally doing the wrong thing, please make a disclosure to us by completing the tip-off form. 

Employer not paying your superannuation

When you are concerned that your employer is not paying the correct amount of super, follow the steps in Unpaid super. Once you’ve confirmed your super hasn’t been paid in full, you can report your employer by using the online tool.

Other issues

If you're concerned about any other issue, you can:

  • discuss it with an ATO officer who will aim to resolve your issue – enquiries can be handled by phone or mail
  • talk with the ATO officer you've been dealing with or phone the number you've been given
  • talk to the ATO officer's manager if you're not satisfied
  • consider making a formal complaint if you're still not satisfied.

Lodging your complaint

We ask you to cooperate with our staff who are handling your complaint, we reserve the right to not respond to complaints that contain abuse, inflammatory statements or material intended to intimidate.

Phone us

Lodging your complaint by phone is the fastest way to raise your concerns with us.

To lodge your complaint, you can phone us:

  • on 1800 199 010 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday (local time), except national public holidays
  • by contacting the National Relay Service (NRS) on 13 36 77 if you find it hard to hear or speak to people who use a phone
  • from outside Australia – see Overseas enquiries.

Online or by mail

You can lodge an online complaints form but it may take longer to process as we may need to speak to you to confirm your identity before taking action to resolve your complaint.    

Or write to us
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 1271

If you're a tax or BAS agent, submit your complaint using the Tax and BAS agent complaints online form through Online services for agents by:

  • going to Reports and forms
  • selecting Forms
  • selecting Tax Practitioner complaint.

How we'll work with you


Once you've lodged a complaint, we'll acknowledge it by SMS, phone, email or letter within 3 business days.

Resolution timeframes

We aim to resolve complaints within 3 weeks (15 business days). However, due to increased volumes of work, complaints may take up to 6 weeks (30 business days) to resolve. If we can’t resolve your complaint, we’ll explain why and let you know your other options.

Confirming your identity

After you lodge a complaint with us, we may need to confirm your identity with you.

If we phone you

If we phone you to discuss your complaint, it may display on your phone as 'Unknown caller', 'No Caller ID', 'Private number' or similar wording. If you're not sure whether it's really us, phone the ATO switchboard on 13 28 69 to confirm. For privacy reasons, we may not leave a message unless your voicemail clearly identifies who you are.

Complaint process

We will handle your complaint independently: it will be assigned to a complaint resolver team that have not been involved in decisions about your issue.

During the complaint resolution process, the resolver may:

  • keep you informed of the progress by SMS, email, phone or letter
  • allow you the opportunity to give additional information or comments before finalising the complaint
  • give you a clear and concise explanation of the action taken to resolve the complaint and the reasons for the decision
  • give you information about your options, if you aren't satisfied with the outcome of the complaint.

If you have lodged a complaint, you can check the progress by phoning us on 1800 199 010.

What we expect

We expect you to:

  • be clear, factual and tell us the outcome you’d like
  • provide your name and contact details so we can resolve your complaint
  • treat us with courtesy and respect – we don't accept abuse or threats
  • cooperate with us and provide relevant information, including details of
    • letters that you have sent or received from us
    • phone calls or other discussions you have had with our staff about the issue
  • tell us if you need help, such as using an interpreter or talking with someone who is authorised to make enquiries or act on your behalf.

We may be unable to progress your complaint if your behaviour during the process is unreasonable.

How we will treat you

The ATO Charter (our Charter) outlines the relationship we seek to have with the community – a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Key factors in this relationship are:

  • our commitments to you
  • what we ask of you
  • the steps to take if you aren't satisfied.

Our Charter is available in 25 languages and an easier to read version.

If you believe we haven't met your expectations or conducted ourselves as outlined in our Charter, we support your right to make a complaint. Complaints give us important feedback and help us to improve our service to the community.

We are committed to treating complaints seriously by:

  • dealing with them quickly and, fairly
  • learning from them.

Making a complaint won't affect your relationship with us.

Escalate a complaint

If you've previously lodged a complaint and you're not satisfied with the way it's being handled or with the outcome, you can ask for your complaint to be escalated to a more senior officer. To escalate your complaint, phone us or get in contact online or by mail.

Other options if you're unsatisfied

If you aren't satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can request an independent investigation by the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO).

You must first lodge a complaint with the ATO and receive your outcome before you request an independent investigation by the IGTO.

To contact the IGTO, you can: