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Managing a tax audit

Published on 01 Nov 13 by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE

Successful management, on a client’s behalf, of a tax audit initiated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will depend on the tax agent’s communication skills, mostly written, but increasingly involving face-to-face or phone-to-phone contact. Although the ATO wants to provide a consistent response to make sure that the tax issues relating to the same facts are decided in the same way, a consistent outcome may not always be possible in given circumstances. This article discusses the progress of a tax audit and offers practical advice as to how the tax agent might deal with each stage of the audit.

The article considers the triggers of a review or audit, the types of review and audit activity, and how to manage the initial ATO contact, the interview, and the audit itself, including questions of voluntary disclosure, information flow, and the position paper. The article concludes with a question and answer summary.

Author profiles

Kevin Munro CTA
Kevin Munro is a solicitor and principal of Munro Lawyers. He has 40 years’ experience in tax and superannuation, forming his own firm, Munro Lawyers (initially called Kevin Munro & Associates) in 1994. Kevin provides advice to clients, particularly professional firms and their clients, in respect of tax planning, superannuation, estate planning and wills, and he regularly acts as a consultant for other professional firms. Kevin is active in professional education and gives lectures and workshops for various professional organisations. He was a member of the NSW Law Society’s Advisory Committee for Small Business Accreditation. Kevin is a Certified Tax Practitioner of the Tax Institute and a fellow of the Society of Trustees and Estate Planners. Kevin also holds a Masters Degree in Commerce, a Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Economics and Diploma of Law, and is a 1979 Churchill Fellow. - Current at 21 July 2017
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Adrian Abbott CTA
Adrian is a consultant to Crowe Horwath, who brings 35 years of experience in accounting, tax and business management to his client base. He has focused on high net worth reviews and benchmarking. Adrian works in conjunction with the ATO on alternative dispute resolutions. Adrian is on the Institute's dispute resolutions committee. - Current at 20 September 2016
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