Tax disputes

At some point in the lifecycle of your business, a tax dispute with the ATO or the OSR may occur. Navigating tax disputes can be like sailing in unchartered waters and that’s when you need an expert to guide you through.

We firmly believe that prevention is better than cure. One of our key drivers is to work with our clients and their advisers to mitigate and manage the risk of a dispute arising with the revenue authorities. This includes ensuring appropriate documentation and evidence is prepared at the time of the transaction or event.

However, where a dispute, sometimes inevitably, does arise it is essential that expert legal representation is engaged early in the process to maximise the probability of success. It is critical for success to understand and have a knowledge of:

  • The underlying tax issues
  • The tax positions of both the taxpayer and the revenue authority
  • The information gathering powers of the revenue authorities and the various powers that may be utilised
  • How to deal with formal and informal information requests and interviews
  • How to formulate responses to ATO with consistent, sufficient and factually accurate information to lower the ATO risk assessment and avoid progression from risk review to audit
  • Which course of action to employ in varying circumstances
  • The impact of voluntary disclosure and minimising penalties and interest

Our philosophy to managing tax disputes is all about ensuring the best outcome for the taxpayer by assessing the risks and likelihood of success and deciding on the most appropriate course of action available to the taxpayer to deal with the dispute. Success to us is favourably settling the matter and never reaching court.

We also have a deep understanding and awareness of the impact an audit and related information gathering can have on the taxpayer and the disruption to their business and their lives. Our key focus is to minimise that disruption and work closely with the taxpayer’s other trusted advisers to a successful resolution as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

To the extent that a dispute is not able to be resolved directly with the revenue authorities we continue to work closely with specialist litigators to a final resolution.