Most taxpayer applications to the tribunals and appeals to the courts are resolved well before litigation. The trend in cases conceded by the ATO in the tribunals has been consistent at about 100 cases per year over the five-year period. See figure 2.1. The main reason the ATO concedes is as a result of taxpayers providing additional information. This suggests that further improvement in communication between the ATO and taxpayers at earlier stages in the dispute process could result in earlier resolution of these cases.
Taxpayer appeals to courts which were settled prior to hearing peaked at 86% in 2009-10, reflecting finalisation of the high level of mass-marketed scheme-related cases. In most years, fewer court cases have been conceded by the ATO than by taxpayers. This year finalisation of court cases has increased across the board. See figure 2.1 and 2.2.
Figure 2.1 Tribunal cases finalised prior to hearing
Figure 2.2 Court cases finalised prior to hearing