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Audit, debt collection, extensions of time and penalty remissions - living the dream or a recipe for disaster paper


This paper details the sometimes harsh realities of dealing with the ATO on a client’s behalf, and looks at some approaches practitioners can take, tips and traps and real life case studies (edited to protect the innocent) which illustrate things that work and things that can make your professional life a whole lot more difficult than it otherwise needs to be.

This paper includes:

  • the playing field:
    •  knowing practitioner and clients rights
    •  respecting the Commissioner’s powers and entitlements, and understanding his policies about how his staff should deal with taxpayers and their representatives
  •  theory and practice:
    • understanding the law
    • pushing things too far 
    • matching the response to the risk 
    • managing perceptions and avoiding unnecessary tension 
    • things that upset the best argued technical positions
  •  cases studies:
    • first – do no harm to your client (or practice) – will the cure turn out to be worse than the original problem?
    • human nature – the too hard basket
    • the benefit of hindsight.

Author profile

Damian O'Connor CTA
Damian is the Managing Principal of the specialist taxation firm Tax + Law. He has more than 40 years experience in tax and commercial and family legal issues in Brisbane and Melbourne. His experience includes 23 years with the Australian Taxation Office and as a tax partner of a national law firm. He is a regular presenter for The Tax Institute, professional development providers, professional associations and universities. - Current at 12 April 2017
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This was presented at Success or Doom - You Decide .

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Reviews, objections, private rulings and opinions - success or doom?

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