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Key principles of dispute management

Outlines our key principles of dispute management.

Last updated 30 April 2023

Our key principles of dispute management:

  • Disputes should be avoided wherever possible.
  • Efforts to resolve disputes should be made as early as possible, including both before and throughout legal proceedings.
  • The merits of each dispute (including risks for the ATO and the revenue) should be assessed in a timely fashion.
  • Disputes should be managed in a courteous, honest and respectful manner, reflecting the highest ethical standards of public governance.
  • Disputes should be managed fairly and flexibly, in a manner which recognises that Commonwealth agencies serve the Australian community and which respects the diversity of the Australian community.
  • Disputes should be resolved in the simplest and most cost-effective way that is appropriate to the circumstances. Where appropriate, the parties in dispute should consider the use of effective and professional dispute resolution practitioners whose costs are proportionate to the issues in dispute.
  • Disputes should be resolved collaboratively, by listening to other views and putting forward and considering options to resolve the dispute.
  • Everybody should have access to, and seek out, information that enables them to choose suitable dispute resolution processes.
  • Our employees have a responsibility to take genuine steps to resolve or clarify disputes and will be supported to meet that responsibility by the ATO.