Miscellaneous 2022

An update on legal professional privilege

Source: The Tax Specialist Journal Article

Published Date: 1 Oct 2022


Legal professional privilege (LPP) has been subject to an array of recent court decisions as well as ATO scrutiny. This immunity is extremely important in encouraging taxpayers to obtain quality legal advice and facilitating frank disclosure from client to lawyer. The "status quo" has been drawn into question due to the growth of multidisciplinary firms and the ATO challenging the validity of LPP attaching to such multidisciplinary advice. Resultingly, the ATO's position was reiterated in its draft LPP protocols, which have since been finalised following extensive feedback. This article discusses the historical origins of LPP in a tax context as well as the approach taken by the ATO in obtaining information and how the finalised protocols interplay with recent decisions. It is clear from recent developments that taxpayers should tread carefully in assuming firstly whether they are able to rely on LPP and secondly whether compliance with ATO LPP protocols provides any certainty surrounding the ATO's tendency to challenge any LPP claims.

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Miscellaneous 2022

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