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08 Aug 06 Review of ATO’s Management of Tax Litigation report released

In a press release issued on 7 August 2006, the Minister for Revenue and the Assistant Treasurer, Peter Dutton, announced the release of the Inspector-General of Taxation’s (IGOT's) report of his Review of ATO management of Part IVC litigation.

The report looked at the ATO's administration of tax litigation arising from the appeal procedures of Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953. Included within the report is an evaluation of the test case litigation program.

The IGOT has made recommendations to the ATO that are designed to improve both the operations and perceptions of administration of the tax litigation programme. The IGOT recommended that the ATO:

- develop a published policy or guidelines on tax litigation;
- give a single area of the ATO overall responsibility and authority for the management of all aspects of litigated cases;
- introduce risk management techniques to its management of litigation issues; and
- introduce a standard communication product to communicate the application of finished court and tribunal decisions.

The Commissioner’s response to the IGOT’s recommendations is included in the report.

The IGOT also made recommendations to the Government for improving the test case funding programme and the funding of taxpayers’ costs where the ATO appeals against a court or tribunal decision. In response, the Minister said that the Government will be establishing a new review body, to be headed by the Treasury, to review the submissions of unsuccessful applicants for test case funding. The Government will develop guidelines about Commonwealth funding for taxpayers’ reasonable legal costs where the Commissioner appeals against an adverse decision.

The Government's response to the IGOT’s recommendations is attached to the Minister's press release.

For a copy of the Minister's press release, No 2006/061, 7 August 2006, go here

For a copy of the IGOT's report, go here

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