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Find out how to lodge a complaint with the ATO and how we manage your complaint.

Last updated 11 July 2023

We'll aim to resolve your complaint in 15 business days. However, due to an increased volume of work, complaints may take up to 30 business days to resolve.

Our Commitment to you

The ATO Charter (our Charter) outlines the relationship we seek to have with the community – a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Our commitments to you, what we ask of you and the steps to take if you are not satisfied are key factors in this relationship.

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

Where you believe we have not met your expectations or not conducted ourselves as outlined in our Charter, we support your right to make a complaint.

Complaints provide us with important feedback and assist 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 will not affect your relationship with us.

If you disagree with a technical decision we have made about your tax affairs, you have the right to have the decision reviewed through the formal process. See how to dispute or object to an ATO decision.

Before lodging a complaint

Before deciding whether to lodge a complaint, the following list of potential resolutions may help you with your issue.

If you're still concerned about an issue, you can:

  • discuss it with an ATO officer who will aim to resolve your issue – see Enquiries
  • try to sort it out with the tax officer you've been dealing with or phone the number you've been given
  • talk to that officer's manager if you're not satisfied
  • consider making a formal complaint if you're still not satisfied.

Lodging your complaint

We'll aim to resolve your complaint in 15 business days. However, due to an increased volume of work, complaints may take up to 30 business days to resolve.

To lodge your complaint, you can:

  • access the Complaints form    
    • if you're a tax or BAS agent, submit your complaint using the Tax practitioner complaints online form through Online services for agents by going to Reports and forms, selecting Forms, then selecting Tax Practitioner complaint
  • phone 1800 199 010 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday (local time), except national public holidays
  • phone the National Relay Service on 13 36 77 (if you have a hearing, speech or communication impairment)
  • write to

    Australian Taxation Office
    PO Box 1271
    ALBURY  NSW  2640

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 request your complaint to be escalated to a more senior officer. To escalate your complaint, contact ATO Complaints on one of the methods listed above.

How we treat your complaint

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

The complaint will be assigned to a complaint resolver who has not been involved in any decision made about your current issue. We do this to give you peace of mind that your complaint will be handled independently.

We may need to speak to you to confirm your identity if we need to access and discuss your personal information. We'll work with you and may request you provide further details to finalise the complaint. 

We'll aim to resolve your complaint in 15 business days. However, due to an increased volume of work, complaints may take up to 30 business days to resolve.

Calls from the ATO will not show a number on your caller ID. The call may display on your phone as 'Unknown caller', 'No Caller ID', 'Private number' or similar wording.

You can contact us on 1800 199 010 and we'll direct your call to the officer handling your complaint (the resolver) for a progress update.

During the complaint resolution process, the resolver will:

  • keep you informed of the progress by SMS, email, phone or letter
  • allow you the opportunity to provide additional information or comments before finalising the complaint
  • provide you with a clear and concise explanation of the action taken to resolve the complaint and the reasons for the decision
  • provide further information about further rights of review, including approaching other agencies such as the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) where you are not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint.

When interacting with us, you can expect us to:

  • treat you with courtesy, consideration and respect
  • listen to you
  • take all reasonable steps to resolve your issue
  • keep you informed of progress
  • apologise if we have made a mistake.

When interacting with us, we expect you to:

  • treat our staff with courtesy, consideration and respect – we don't allow any harm, abuse or threats directed at our staff
  • provide us with all relevant information – this includes details of letters that you have sent or received from us and any phone calls or other discussions you have had with our staff about the issue
  • cooperate with our staff who are handling your complaint – we reserve the right not to respond to contact from you which contains abuse, inflammatory statements or material clearly intended to intimidate
  • tell us if you need help to address your complaint, such as using an interpreter or someone who is authorised to make enquiries or act on your behalf.

Other avenues to make a complaint

Where you are not satisfied with your complaint outcome or the way the ATO handled your complaint, you can get the decision reviewed by contacting the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman for an independent investigation.

To contact the IGTO, you can: