Dispute Resolution Instruction Bulletin

DR IB 2013/14

Test Case Litigation Program
  • This document has changed over time. View its history.

Purpose:

To advise DR officers that they must identify and escalate litigation cases that may involve strategic or test case litigation issues

Stream:

All

Background

1. The Test Case Litigation Program (the Program) was established to provide financial assistance to selected taxpayers who are litigating matters against the Commissioner which will test the taxation and superannuation laws we administer.

2. The purpose of the Program is to clarify the operation of laws administered by the Commissioner of Taxation where there is uncertainty or contention. The aim of the Program is to develop legal precedent to provide guiding principles on how specific provisions we administer should be applied more broadly.

3. The Program is managed by the Strategic Litigation Unit (SLU). The Test Case Secretariat manages the Program on behalf of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Program. The Secretariat is assisted by a Test Case Advisor and other members of SLU generally.

Instruction

4. At the time that a case is allocated to a DR officer, the officer should consider whether the case involves strategic or test case litigation issues.

5. All cases which may involve strategic or test case litigation issues must be escalated to an Assistant Commissioner in DR. Should the Assistant Commissioner agree that the case involves strategic or test case litigation issues:

·
SLU is to be advised that the matter should be added to the Significant Litigation Report (SLR) and who made the decision to do so
·
The latest Case Management Plan is to be forwarded to SLU
·
The case will be added to the SLR by SLU.

6. If during the course of litigation, a case is identified that may involve strategic or test case litigation issues that had not previously been identified, the case must be escalated to an Assistant Commissioner in DR to follow the above process.

7. Notwithstanding the SLU had concluded that a case escalated to it did not involve significant or test case issues, should new information suggest that the case may involve strategic or test case litigation issues, it must be escalated to an Assistant Commissioner in DR.

8. Detailed instructions about the Program, how it operates, and what duties and responsibilities DR officers have to identify and manage test cases is available on ORCLA

Approved by:

Assistant Commissioner, Dispute Resolution

Amendment History

Date of amendment Part Comment
12 July 2013 Throughout Amended to reflect organisational change

Date of decision:  Immediate

Date of publication:  28 May 2013

Other References:
 ORCLA [ATO internal link]

DR IB 2013/14 history
  Date: Version:
  28 May 2013 Original statement
You are here 12 July 2013 Updated statement
  8 April 2014 Updated statement