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In a press release issued on 17 November 2009, the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGOT), Ali Noroozi, announced the release of  the Terms of Reference and Submission Guidelines for his inquiry into the ATO’s large business audit and risk review policies, procedures and practices. The review has been commenced by the IGOT on his own initiative in accordance with s 8(1) of the Inspector-General of Taxation Act 2003.

Mr Noroozi said, "During consultations on my work program last year, various large business and tax practitioner groups asserted that although audits and risk reviews are generally being finalised within the ATO’s specified timeframes, the way they are being handled is not achieving the aim of trying to resolve issues and disputes as early as possible. The large business community are particularly concerned about how the ATO interacts and engages with them as taxpayers and believe that that the ATO is not resolving audits and risk reviews in the most efficient and effective manner."

In addition, the review will examine the ATO’s use of its information-gathering and access powers and its application and remission of penalties and interest. Mr Noroozi said, "Large business and their advisers have expressed strong concerns about how the ATO exercises its powers in the course of an audit and the resulting financial and reputational impacts on them. Some have gone so far as to allege that these ATO practices can be tantamount to forcing taxpayers into a corner."

The closing date for submissions is 31 December 2009.

For a copy of the IGOT's press release, No 022, 17 November 2009, go here

For a copy of the Terms of Reference & Submission Guidelines, go here


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