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Rights and obligations of parties in dispute

Outlines how you can contribute, what we will do and what happens if we cannot agree.

Last updated 30 April 2023

How you can contribute

To make sure we apply the law to your circumstances correctly, you should:

  • provide all relevant information as early as possible so that we can make correct and timely decisions regarding your circumstances (it is not necessary to wait for us to ask for it and doing this may actually lengthen the dispute)
  • respond promptly, fully and accurately if we ask for information or clarification about something you've told us
  • give us your view on how the relevant laws apply to your circumstances, if you consider this would help us (for example, in complex matters)
  • let us know as soon as possible if you think we've misunderstood something or made a mistake.
  • If you have a representative acting for you they should be prepared, willing and skilled to work with us to resolve the dispute and if necessary have the authority to settle.

What we will do

To ensure we apply the law correctly to your circumstances we will, where appropriate:

  • talk with you as early as possible to ensure we have a shared understanding of the issues and relevant facts in the matter
  • ask for any additional information we think we need to make our decision and explain to you why we need it
  • explain our view to you and listen to, and fully consider, any issues or alternative views you put forward
  • ensure we are clear on where we agree and work to identify and, if possible, resolve any issues in dispute
  • ensure our external lawyers are aware of and follow our policies on dispute management
  • send someone to you that has the authority to settle to all dispute resolution processes or when this is impractical, someone with authority will be available to participate by video or phone.

If we cannot agree

If we are still unable to resolve the issues in dispute we may also:

  • use other dispute resolution processes, which may include engaging a dispute resolution practitioner to assist us to resolve the dispute
  • discuss settlement with you under our code of settlement practice if it is a tax dispute
  • involve one of our debt officers who will work with you where the dispute is primarily about your inability to pay a debt to us.

Whatever the type of dispute, we need to work together to gain a full understanding of your circumstances and ensure that we have applied the law correctly. By pursuing this course we may be able to resolve the dispute or at least narrow the issues for potential external review.

For further information refer to Code of settlement.