15 Oct 10 Legal Practitioners Working PartyKen Schurgott FTIA (SBN Lawyers) and Tax Counsel Deepti Paton ATIA represented the Taxation Institute at the Legal Practitioners Working Party meeting on Wednesday 14 October 2010. At the meeting, the ATO gave the group a briefing on the structure and function of the Legal Services Branch within the ATO, the ATO's approach to alternative dispute resolution and an update on the issue of ATO guidance on the incorporation of professional practices. The ATO also presented to the group on the Model Deed of Settlement (contained in the Code of Settlement Practice).
The group also engaged in discussion on the ATO's approach to pursuing settlement of tax debts while the taxpayer is in litigation, the ATO's program of engaging firms (other than AGS) to provide legal services and the interaction between different sections of the ATO (including engagement of the Tax Counsel Network) in the context of litigation.
The group also discussed the future direction and purpose of this Working Party, and concluded that the Working Party should continue as it provides a valuable forum for the ATO to interact with and gain feedback from legal practitioners in the tax field.