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On  20 October 2014, Joanne Dunne CTA (Minter Ellison) attended a targeted consultation with the Dispute Resolution Working Group in relation to the ATO’s Test Case Litigation Project. The ATO is looking to revamp the Test Case Litigation Program by the end of this year and is seeking views on the following issues:

  • The criteria for funding – the Australian Taxation Office is considering removing the criterion that the issue must affect a significant section of the public, and considering the ‘public interest’ criterion – including whether that criterion would be necessarily be satisfied through the ‘important question of law’ criterion. 
  • The application process for funding – the Australian Taxation Office intends to provide online tools.
  • The adequacy of the amount of funding provided, the Australian Taxation Office's Costs Policy, and whether the program should be available in AAT matters more widely.
  • Public access to information about matters where funding had been provided (the current Test case litigation register) and the issues the ATO is interested in litigating - whether increased visibility is needed. Whether the ATO should be speaking to industry groups to identify issues, and other ideas for the ATO to identify issues 
  • Marketing the revamped program – how to ensure the program is more widely known about- websites to link the ATO documents to, articles, speaking engagements – the Australian Taxation Office seeks views about this.

Members seeking further information in relation to this consultation should contact us at