The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is familiar with tax disputes. That is why forms are provided that permit you to disagree with a tax decision. Of course, as with every legal claim, you only have so much time to register a complaint.
For example, if you believe that an error was made on your tax assessment, an ATO objection letter permits you to raise an objection within two years from the original assessment date. If the ATO decides not to amend the assessment it made, you can object to the original assessment. The objection letter that you use can be lodged by post, at an ATO office, or by fax.
Some of the Requirements
If you do not use the formal form or a formal letter, you need to make sure that the letter you send includes the following:
- It should be sent in writing
- It must be dated and signed
- It must include a declaration that all the data provided and supporting paperwork is true and precise
- It must feature all the details – explanations why you believe the decision is incorrect
If you need further information about preparing an objection to an assessment, you can refer to the ATO’s Objection Guide. This guide can be located online at the ATO website. If you are not happy with the ATO’s decision, you can also ask that an external review of the decision be made by the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit Court, or the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT).
Going Through the AAT
If you want to avoid the formality of a court process, it is easier to schedule a hearing at the AAT. Plus, when you choose this approach, you can represent your interests in person. You may also have someone represent you, if you so choose. You need to request a review directly to the AAT in writing. Scheduling the request should be done immediately. You will also need to pay an application fee to the AAT. Sometimes, the fee is waived if the applicant is suffering financial hardship.
Submitting a Request through the Federal Court System
Should you choose to make an appeal to the Federal Court, you will need to pay a number of fees, including a setting down fee, a daily hearing fee, and a filing fee. In this case, you can choose to be represented by a lawyer or you can represent yourself.
Addressing a Financial Loss
If you believe that the actions instituted by the ATO have led to a financial loss, you may also be entitled to receive compensation. You can find out more about this by contacting the ATO’s compensation line on the phone. When you have any dispute to raise about a taxation decision, you should exert your legal rights and find out more about the process. Learn what forms its takes to make any complaint that you lodge recognised and answered.
Do you currently have a complaint to lodge about an ATO decision? If so, familiarise yourself with the forms that are used to raise a complaint and request a review. Do so at your earliest convenience. Do not wait, or you may lose your chance to obtain a just resolution.