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Excellent working relationships

Find out how we can work with you or your tax adviser to establish a productive and professional working relationship.

Last updated 25 September 2018

Privately owned and wealthy groups tell us they work with their tax advisers to meet their obligations and get things right. We may work directly with your tax adviser to understand your circumstances.

Whether we work with you or your tax adviser, we want to have a productive and professional working relationship – one built on transparency and mutual respect.

We prefer to engage with you early, providing access to our experts and clear escalation points to resolve issues. We are improving our review and audit processes to give you certainty about the duration of our engagements and options to reduce timeframes and minimise the impacts on your business.

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Seeking advice from us

We'll provide access to our experts and decision-makers to help you or your tax adviser get things right up front. So we can provide advice suited to your circumstances in shorter timeframes, we ask that you:

  • talk to us as early as possible so that we can understand your circumstances and work with you to resolve any issues
  • maintain open and regular discussions on the facts and issues so we can get the right information
  • work with us to set timeframes for supplying information so we can progress your matter as quickly as possible.

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Tax engagements

When we engage with you or your tax adviser, including on reviews and audits, we want to establish a productive and professional working relationship built on transparency and mutual respect.

To support this relationship, we will:

  • be transparent in explaining why we have contacted you, what we understand about your circumstances and any concerns, so there are no surprises
  • provide information about our risk assessment of you and the options available if you need to correct a mistake
  • provide you with access to a clear escalation point to resolve issues with the ATO.

We will work closely with you to:

  • develop a work plan as early as possible in our engagement to give you certainty around timeframes, being sensitive to commercial considerations
  • agree on the most efficient channels for exchanges of information
  • minimise costs by using the data and information we already have and then identifying any documents or alternative information that we would like you to share with us
  • clarify how we manage documents covered by legal professional privilege or the accountants’ concession
  • keep each other informed on issues as they arise to enable their prompt resolution
  • ensure you are regularly updated on the progress of a review or audit
  • discuss opportunities for voluntary disclosures or alternative dispute resolution where relevant.

While we may not always agree, we aim to reach a shared understanding on any evidence or explanation of contentious issues and try to come to an agreement with you.

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Engaging through consultation

We consult with you, your tax advisers, professional associations and industry stakeholders to improve our understanding of your business environment and current tax issues you face.

By working with you, we can identify the right areas to reduce red tape, minimise compliance costs, improve the administration of the tax and super systems, and increase willing participation.

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