On 26 March 2015 the ATO released a short statement in response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue report into Tax Disputes, released on the same day. That report made 20 recommendations.
The ATO notes that many of the recommendations of the report reinforce the strategies the ATO already has in place or is putting in place to improve dispute resolution.
Over the past eighteen months, the ATO has focused on dispute prevention, early resolution, and alternative methods for resolving matters, including mediation, direct conferencing, use of independent parties, facilitation and sensible settlement.
The ATO says that, historically, a very small number of disputes have been dealt with poorly. The positive feedback and reports of change that were presented to the Committee are evidence the ATO’s improvement strategies for effective and fair dispute resolution are working.
The ATO will be examining the report in detail and making a formal response.