The Tax Institute welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman's (IGTO) investigation into The Australian Taxation Office's Administration and Management of Objections and related terms of reference
In the development of this submission, we have consulted with our national technical committees and received detailed feedback from our National Dispute Resolution Technical Committee, National Taxation of Individuals Technical Committee, National Large Business and International Technical Committee, and our broader membership, to prepare a considered response.
Objections are an important feature of Australia's tax dispute resolution landscape. The right to object allows taxpayers the opportunity to have decisions regarding their tax affairs independently and impartially reviewed. The Tax Institute is of the view that this is beneficial to the overall administration of Australia's taxation and superannuation systems. TheÂ objections process provides an opportunity to resolve taxpayer disputes at an earlier stage. Where it is administered effectively, it can assist to reduce the burden on the tribunals and courts and avoid costs incurred by taxpayers and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in escalating disputes through those channels.
It is therefore crucial to ensure that the objections process is administered by the ATO in a transparent and effective manner. Our submission focuses on areas where the ATO may be able to improve the existing settings to better ensure that the objections process can be used by taxpayers as an effective and fair means for resolving disputes.