Practice Statement Law Administration
PS LA 2008/13
|SUBJECT:||ATO Receivables Policy|
This document has changed over time. View its history.
FOI status: may be released
|TABLE OF CONTENTS||Paragraph|
|Currency of the Policy|
|Types of review|
|Half yearly reviews|
|Changes in legislation, case law or Tax Office policy|
|As a result of feedback|
|The general responsibilities of the policy area|
|The roles and responsibilities of the Policy co-ordinator|
|The roles and responsibilities of technical reviewers|
|The roles and responsibilities of cross line representatives|
|The roles and responsibilities of editorial reviewers|
|Types of changes|
|This practice statement is issued under the authority of the Commissioner of Taxation and must be read in conjunction with Law Administration Practice Statement PS LA 1998/1. It must be followed by Tax Office staff unless doing so creates unintended consequences or is considered incorrect. Where this occurs Tax Office staff must follow their business line's escalation process..|
1. In April 2011 the majority of the policy chapters in the ATO Receivables Policy (Policy) were transferred into Law Administration Practice Statements. This practice statement PS LA 2008/13, continues to operate in relation to the remaining two chapters:
- Chapter 34 - contains the administrative policy of the ATO relating to goods and services tax and the special rules that apply in particular circumstances. It also details the policy relating to collection of excess rebates claimed under the wine equalisation tax law.
- Chapter 35 - contains the administrative policy in relation to the collection of group liabilities from consolidated entities.
3. Tax Office staff must follow the administrative policies outlined in the Policy. In relation to the exercise of the Commissioner's various discretions under the relevant taxation laws, it is not possible to set out all the circumstances in which the discretion may or may not be exercised. Cases that appear similar in nature may have different outcomes based upon their particular facts. Each case has to be considered on its merits and on the basis of all the relevant facts. Tax Office staff must take care not to consider irrelevant considerations, and must exercise their own judgment in arriving at an appropriate decision. The decision should be made in good faith and without bias.
4. All proposed changes to this Policy are to be escalated for review (together with documented reasons for any proposed changes) in accordance with the escalation process of the relevant business line and then sent by email to Complex Law and Administrative Policy in Operations at the following address: ATOReceivablesPolicy@ato.gov.au (Policy Mailbox).
Currency of the Policy
6. Tax Office staff who require previous versions of the Policy should contact Operations Complex Law and Administrative Policy at the email address provided in paragraph 4 of this practice statement.
7. Where there is any reason to doubt the currency, correctness or application of the information contained in this Policy, or for any other reason, please escalate for review (together with documented reasons for any proposed changes) in accordance with the escalation process of the relevant business line.
Types of review
Half yearly reviews
9. This review process is initiated by the Policy co-ordinator and undertaken 6 months after the last review date for the chapter. The relevant policy area will undertake the review and either update or provide assurance that the chapter is still current.
Changes in legislation, case law or Tax Office policy
As a result of feedback
The general responsibilities of the policy area
18. The policy area that has ownership for a Part of the Policy is responsible for reviewing and updating the chapter in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Business Rules. This includes consulting with stakeholders, ensuring the currency of the chapter by completing reviews within agreed timeframes and that the information contained in the chapters is consistent with the Style guide and the Tax Office Standard for Citations and References.
The roles and responsibilities of the Policy co-ordinator
19. The role of the Policy co-ordinator is to ensure the efficient and effective updating of the Policy. The Policy co-ordinator is responsible for managing the half yearly review process, as well as ensuring the appropriate approval processes have been followed for each chapter update. The Policy co-ordinator also has responsibility for maintaining a register of chapters including status and ensuring the appropriate archival of chapters.
The roles and responsibilities of technical reviewers
21. The technical reviewer can also suggest changes to formatting and language to improve the readability of the document. However, suggested formatting and language changes are not mandatory changes that are required to be made before technical clearance is obtained.
The roles and responsibilities of cross line representatives
22. Cross line representatives co-ordinate, review and provide policy clearance of chapters within agreed timeframes. Cross line representatives are only responsible for clearing information which impacts on their business line.
The roles and responsibilities of editorial reviewers
23. The tax officers who provide editorial clearance must ensure the content of a chapter aligns with the agreed tone and language for the policy document and is consistent with the Style guide and the Tax Office Standard for Citations and References.
Types of changes
25. A minor change is considered to be a change to formatting, language, grammar or spelling or correction of typographical errors. Minor changes also include changes to wording that do not affect the substance of the document.
- Editorial clearance
- Technical clearance from the area within the business line responsible for providing technical advice.
- Cross line policy clearance from Excise, GST, Micro Enterprises and Individuals, Superannuation, Small and Medium Enterprises, Large Business and Internationals, Law and Practice, Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy (TPALS), and Debt and Client Accounting Services (CAS).
- If there is sufficient risk involved with the change, final technical clearance is to be provided by Law and Practice.
- One or more of the following: Deputy Commissioner Debt; Deputy Commissioner CAS and/or Deputy Commissioner TPALS.
31. As prescribed in paragraph 7 of this practice statement Tax Office staff should adhere to the escalation process applicable to their business line when requesting a new chapter be incorporated into the Policy.
|Date of amendment||Part||Comment|
|26 April 2012||Paragraph 29 and footnote 1||Updated to reflect the implementation of the TTTDM model and the issue of PS LA 2012/1.|
|20 July 2011||Paragraph 1||Minor change to alert the move of policy to LAPS format and change coverage to the 2 remaining chapters.|
|18 February 2010||Heading (Purpose)||Further detail added|
|Paragraphs 4, 6, 18, 27 and 28||Minor amendments to reflect name changes and update contact sources|
|Paragraph 23||Paragraph inserted 'The roles and responsibilities of editorial reviewers'|
|Paragraph 29||to include editorial review|
|18 June 2009||Paragraph 28||Minor changes to update naming conventions|
Date of Issue: 28 August 2008
Date of Effect: 28 August 2008
Refer to PS LA 2012/1 Management of high risk technical issue and engagement of tax technical officers in Law and Practice.
Related Practice Statements:
PS LA 2006/11 ATO Receivables Policy (withdrawn 28 August 2008)
compromise of tax debts
general interest charge
interest for early payment
interest on overpayments
lodgment of tax returns
recovery of tax
remission of penalties
shortfall interest charge
Refer to each chapter for relevant legislative references.
Refer to each chapter for relevant case references
|Other Business Lines consulted||Excise, GST, MEI, Superannuation, LBI, TPALS, TCN|
|18 June 2009||Updated statement|
|18 February 2010||Updated statement|
|20 July 2011||Updated statement|
|You are here||26 April 2012||Updated statement|
|4 December 2013||Withdrawn|
|This practice statement was originally published on 28 August 2008. Versions published from 18 June 2009 available electronically - refer to the online version of the practice statement. Versions published prior to this date are not available electronically. If needed, these can be requested by emailing