The ATO has set out its “Service Commitment” to taxpayers in resolving disputes in response to a recommendation made by the Inspector-General of Taxation. In this context, a dispute refers to an objection, a review by the AAT or an appeal to a Court. The ATO said it recognises that when disputes are not managed well, the effects can be long-lasting and costly for everyone involved – not only in time, money and effort, but also emotional stress.

The ATO said that it will treat taxpayers fairly and with respect, have early, direct and open contact, and deal with issues in a timely manner. It said it will also keep taxpayers informed of progress of the objection, ensure it acts objectively, and discuss options available to resolve or narrow the disagreement or dispute (including opportunities for settlement or alternative dispute resolution, such as in-house facilitation).

[LTN 26, 10/2/16]

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[ATO website]