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Tax and superannuation disputes

What to do at times if you may disagree with us about how the law applies to your tax or superannuation affairs.

Last updated 30 April 2023

Options for resolving tax and super disputes

There are times when you may disagree with us about how the law applies to your tax or superannuation (super) affairs. You may believe we are about to make (or have made) the wrong decision in a private ruling, during an audit or when considering your request for review (usually, this is an objection). Disputes are better managed early by collaboratively working with us.

Disputes relating to a law administered by the Commissioner of Taxation include:

Avoiding a tax or super dispute

In some circumstances, we should be able to avoid or minimise a dispute. For example, if you have doubts about your tax affairs you can discuss the issues with us or request a private ruling which may resolve this. During an audit or review, we will generally talk to you about matters that concern us. We will explain our concerns and give you the opportunity to consider making a voluntary disclosure, if that is appropriate.

If you don't understand, or are concerned about something, contact us as early as possible. We provide a phone number on our correspondence. You may need to provide further documents or information to us to explain your point of view.

If we ask you for information, you should respond promptly, fully and accurately.

In complex matters, it can help to provide us with your view on how the relevant taxation laws apply to you.

Early resolution of a tax or super dispute

We want to work with you to resolve a dispute as early as possible, even, and if possible, before our decision has been made. If you disagree with our view or decision, we recommend you contact us (if you've received a letter or notice from us it will include contact details).

By working together, we may be able to resolve a dispute quickly without the need for more formal review processes. Ongoing dialogue discussion is essential to gain a complete understanding of your circumstances. It also gives us an opportunity to explain our understanding of your situation and our likely answer. This will allow you to consider our view and respond, including providing any further information to help us reach a decision.

If we can resolve the dispute early, costs should be minimised.

Disputing (objecting to) an ATO decision

Refer to Object to an ATO decision.

Seeking an external review of our decision

Refer to Seek an external review of our decisions.


Refer to Litigation – our policies.