On 7 September 2011, the ATO released for public comment by 21 October 2011 Draft Miscellaneous Taxation Ruling MT 2011/D3 entitled "Administrative penalties: voluntary disclosures".
The draft Ruling outlines the Commissioner's interpretation of s 284-225 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA). Specifically, it outlines the circumstances under which:
- a penalty otherwise attracted will be reduced to nil;
- a penalty otherwise attracted will be reduced by 80%; and
- a penalty otherwise attracted will be reduced by 20%.
The draft Ruling also provides guidelines on how the discretion in s 284-225(5) of Schedule 1 to the TAA may be exercised.
The draft Ruling also outlines the Commissioner's interpretation of some of the important concepts in s 284-225 of Schedule 1 to the TAA, specifically:
- what constitutes 'an examination...of your affairs relating to a taxation law for a relevant period';
- when an entity will be taken to have been told that an examination is to be conducted of its affairs;
- the meaning of 'voluntarily tell' in the context of each subsection;
- the meaning of 'a significant amount of time or significant resources' for the purposes of s 284-225(1) of Schedule 1 to the TAA; and
- principles regarding the making of a voluntary disclosure.
As a consequence of the release of MT 2011/D3 on 7 September 2011, Miscellaneous Taxation Ruling MT 2008/3 (Shortfall penalties: voluntary disclosures) was withdrawn with effect from the same day.