Legal practitioners community

Welcome

We have created the Legal practitioner community so we can better engage and collaborate with legal practitioners. We want to share knowledge and information with the community, and gain knowledge from the legal profession.

This Let’s Talk community allows us to provide information that may be of legal practitioners’ interest as well as have an online platform to discuss or consult on issues.

We will also notify you of upcoming webinars and other events that may be of interest to you and your networks.

We want to hear from you - register now to join the community..

Welcome

We have created the Legal practitioner community so we can better engage and collaborate with legal practitioners. We want to share knowledge and information with the community, and gain knowledge from the legal profession.

This Let’s Talk community allows us to provide information that may be of legal practitioners’ interest as well as have an online platform to discuss or consult on issues.

We will also notify you of upcoming webinars and other events that may be of interest to you and your networks.

We want to hear from you - register now to join the community..

  • Open for Consultation – garnishee and freezing orders

    17 days ago
    At the Legal Practitioners Round Table meeting on 8 May 2017, members raised the impacts of our use of garnishee and freezing orders as a topic they wanted to discuss in-depth at a separate meeting – in particular, the factors that we take into account when considering either of these actions.

    The Legal Practitioner Round Table is the key forum where we discuss matters of strategic significance with the legal profession.

    We are keen to hear from all legal practitioners about your experiences on this topic and encourage you to join the discussion.

    Consultation is open until 28 July 2017.

    Go to discussion
    At the Legal Practitioners Round Table meeting on 8 May 2017, members raised the impacts of our use of garnishee and freezing orders as a topic they wanted to discuss in-depth at a separate meeting – in particular, the factors that we take into account when considering either of these actions.

    The Legal Practitioner Round Table is the key forum where we discuss matters of strategic significance with the legal profession.

    We are keen to hear from all legal practitioners about your experiences on this topic and encourage you to join the discussion.

    Consultation is open until 28 July 2017.

    Go to discussion
  • Your feedback wanted – FAQ for legal practitioners: What to do if your client has a debt with the ATO

    17 days ago
    At the 2016 Legal Practitioner Round Table, members raised issues in relation to contacting us on behalf of their clients regarding debt matters. Specifically, they were interested in which area they should contact, and how, at various stages of a disputed or undisputed debt matter.

    The draft FAQ for legal practitioners: What to do if your client has a debt with the ATO outlines what you need to do or who to contact to discuss your clients’ debt matters with us.

    You can access the draft FAQ for legal practitioners here.

    We... Continue reading
    At the 2016 Legal Practitioner Round Table, members raised issues in relation to contacting us on behalf of their clients regarding debt matters. Specifically, they were interested in which area they should contact, and how, at various stages of a disputed or undisputed debt matter.

    The draft FAQ for legal practitioners: What to do if your client has a debt with the ATO outlines what you need to do or who to contact to discuss your clients’ debt matters with us.

    You can access the draft FAQ for legal practitioners here.

    We are keen to hear from all legal practitioners and invite you to complete a survey and share your feedback with us. Your comments and suggestions will be considered to determine how we might improve this FAQ to better meet your needs.

    The draft FAQ for legal practitioners is available for comment until 4 August 2017.
  • Inspector-General of Taxation’s review into the future of the tax profession

    14 days ago

    The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) is conducting a review into:

    • the opportunities, risks and challenges presented by new technological, social, policy and regulatory developments on the administration of the tax system
    • the strategies necessary to assist the tax profession to meet the potential challenges posed by these developments
    • how the ATO and the Tax Practitioners Board can seize opportunities presented by technological, social, policy and regulatory developments.

    The IGT welcomes submissions from all interested members of the community including taxpayers, tax practitioners, professional bodies as well as other third parties such as financial advisers, software and hardware developers, data analysts, providers of banking and payment services, economists and valuers.

    Further details, including the terms of reference and how to make a submission, can be found on the IGT website.

    The closing date for submissions is 28 July 2017.

    The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) is conducting a review into:

    • the opportunities, risks and challenges presented by new technological, social, policy and regulatory developments on the administration of the tax system
    • the strategies necessary to assist the tax profession to meet the potential challenges posed by these developments
    • how the ATO and the Tax Practitioners Board can seize opportunities presented by technological, social, policy and regulatory developments.

    The IGT welcomes submissions from all interested members of the community including taxpayers, tax practitioners, professional bodies as well as other third parties such as financial advisers, software and hardware developers, data analysts, providers of banking and payment services, economists and valuers.

    Further details, including the terms of reference and how to make a submission, can be found on the IGT website.

    The closing date for submissions is 28 July 2017.

  • Inspector-General of Taxation’s review into the ATO’s fraud control management

    17 days ago

    The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) will examine the ATO’s fraud prevention and detection policies and how they are practically applied to ensure that its practices reflect the required standards.

    The IGT welcomes submissions from all interested members of the community, including tax and legal practitioners, fraud prevention specialists, current and former ATO officers as well as taxpayers.

    Further details such as the terms of reference and how to make a submission can be found here.

    The closing date for submissions is 28 July 2017.

    The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) will examine the ATO’s fraud prevention and detection policies and how they are practically applied to ensure that its practices reflect the required standards.

    The IGT welcomes submissions from all interested members of the community, including tax and legal practitioners, fraud prevention specialists, current and former ATO officers as well as taxpayers.

    Further details such as the terms of reference and how to make a submission can be found here.

    The closing date for submissions is 28 July 2017.

  • Tips for barristers on meeting their tax obligations

    24 days ago
    Updated: Wednesday 5 July 2017
    Published: Tuesday 27 June 2017

    We have released a product to assist barristers in meeting their taxation obligations and understanding their entitlements under the tax laws.

    Download a copy of tax tips for barristers.
    Updated: Wednesday 5 July 2017
    Published: Tuesday 27 June 2017

    We have released a product to assist barristers in meeting their taxation obligations and understanding their entitlements under the tax laws.

    Download a copy of tax tips for barristers.
  • Webinar - ATO Business Portal to request clients’ tax documents

    4 months ago
    Updated: Wednesday 24 May 2017

    Thank you for attending and participating in the webinar session. You can access the webinar presentation from here or via the document library.

    From 1 July 2017, you’ll need to use the ATO Business Portal to request copies of your clients’ documents such as tax returns, payment summaries and notices of assessment.

    The webinar shows you what you’ll need to do, including how to:
    • register for an AUSkey
    • use Manage ABN Connections
    • submit requests via the ATO Business Portal.

    Watch the webinar recording below.
    Updated: Wednesday 24 May 2017

    Thank you for attending and participating in the webinar session. You can access the webinar presentation from here or via the document library.

    From 1 July 2017, you’ll need to use the ATO Business Portal to request copies of your clients’ documents such as tax returns, payment summaries and notices of assessment.

    The webinar shows you what you’ll need to do, including how to:
    • register for an AUSkey
    • use Manage ABN Connections
    • submit requests via the ATO Business Portal.

    Watch the webinar recording below.
  • Guidance for cross-border related party financing arrangements

    about 2 months ago
    We’re seeking feedback on our draft practical compliance guideline (PCG), PCG: Cross-border related party financing arrangements and related transactions. You can access a copy of the draft ruling here.

    This PCG provides guidance on the pricing of both ‘inbound’ loans (where an Australian subsidiary borrows from a foreign shareholder) and ‘outbound’ loans (where an Australian shareholder lends to a foreign subsidiary).

    The guideline sets out the characteristics of arrangements which we are likely to consider high risk. It is also designed to provide more certainty to businesses by identifying arrangements which are likely to... Continue reading
    We’re seeking feedback on our draft practical compliance guideline (PCG), PCG: Cross-border related party financing arrangements and related transactions. You can access a copy of the draft ruling here.

    This PCG provides guidance on the pricing of both ‘inbound’ loans (where an Australian subsidiary borrows from a foreign shareholder) and ‘outbound’ loans (where an Australian shareholder lends to a foreign subsidiary).

    The guideline sets out the characteristics of arrangements which we are likely to consider high risk. It is also designed to provide more certainty to businesses by identifying arrangements which are likely to be considered low risk.

    The purpose of the PCG is to help you understand:
    • how we rate risks related to cross border related party financing arrangements
    • how we make an assessment of your risk rating
    • when we may require greater assurance in relation to a cross-border related party financing arrangement.

    Lower your risk rating

    A lower risk rating will reduce the likelihood of us undertaking assurance checks on your financing arrangements. A rating of green (low risk) will mean we will not dedicate resources to review your arrangement. If you find your rating is not low, we recommend you take necessary steps to restructure or make different financing arrangements. We will be checking self-assessed risk ratings to ensure they’re appropriate.

    Consultation

    We’re encouraging professionals and taxpayers to provide feedback on the draft PCG. In particular we would like your views on:
    • Do you agree with the expectation set out at paragraph 77 of Schedule 1 to the PCG? Are there specific circumstances where this expectation is problematic?
    • Are there particular industries which are disadvantaged by the scoring system used to calculate a risk rating under the ‘Related party financing risk indicator guide’ section?
    • Is the description of the method and how you apply the method to determine your risk zone clear (including the definitions of risk indicators)?
    • Are the exclusions from the application of the PCG at paragraph 14 appropriate? Are there any exclusions that should be removed, or additional exclusions included?
    • Are the exclusions from reporting your risk assessment at paragraph 38 of the PCG clear?
    • Should the PCG emphasise the importance of particular clauses to be included in legal agreements under the ‘Evidencing your self-assessment of your risk zone’ section?
    • Is there sufficient guidance in the ‘Transitioning existing arrangements to ‘Green zone – low risk’’ section?

    To provide feedback, join the discussion on our Public Advice and Guidance Community by 30 June 2017.
  • ATO In-House facilitation service to help resolve tax disputes

    2 months ago
    In-house facilitation is a mediation process where an independent and impartial ATO facilitator guides a discussion between the ATO and the taxpayer to help both parties find some middle ground.

    The service is ideal for less complex disputes and can be used at any stage from the audit up to and including the litigation stage.

    During facilitation the ATO facilitator, who has no prior knowledge or involvement in the case, will sit down with the taxpayer and their representative and the ATO case officers to:
    • identify issues
    • develop options
    • consider alternatives
    • attempt to... Continue reading
    In-house facilitation is a mediation process where an independent and impartial ATO facilitator guides a discussion between the ATO and the taxpayer to help both parties find some middle ground.

    The service is ideal for less complex disputes and can be used at any stage from the audit up to and including the litigation stage.

    During facilitation the ATO facilitator, who has no prior knowledge or involvement in the case, will sit down with the taxpayer and their representative and the ATO case officers to:
    • identify issues
    • develop options
    • consider alternatives
    • attempt to reach a solution.

    Facilitation is a voluntary process. The taxpayer or their representative can ask for facilitation, or the ATO can offer it, however the taxpayer is not obliged to participate in the process if it is offered to them. If the facilitation doesn’t resolve the dispute, the taxpayer’s review rights will be unaffected.

    To find out more about the ATO’s In-house facilitation, watch this short video below: or visit www.ato.gov.au/inhousefacilitation to download the Request for in-house facilitation form.
  • The Tax Institute Round Table, March 2017

    2 months ago
    Published: Monday 15 May 2017

    The Tax Institute Round Table was held at The Tax Institute’s National Convention in March 2017. It is one of the ways the ATO is engaging with the tax profession to understand matters that are important to tax professionals and identify the questions within these topics that need closer attention.

    Working together with Tax Institute members, the ATO sought feedback from all institute members via Tax Vine prior to the National Convention on potential topics. The Tax Institute Round Table provides a unique opportunity for Tax Institute members to help influence... Continue reading
    Published: Monday 15 May 2017

    The Tax Institute Round Table was held at The Tax Institute’s National Convention in March 2017. It is one of the ways the ATO is engaging with the tax profession to understand matters that are important to tax professionals and identify the questions within these topics that need closer attention.

    Working together with Tax Institute members, the ATO sought feedback from all institute members via Tax Vine prior to the National Convention on potential topics. The Tax Institute Round Table provides a unique opportunity for Tax Institute members to help influence what issues the ATO will address via public advice and guidance. This is the second year the Tax Institute Round Table has been included on the agenda for the National Convention.

    This year’s Tax Institute Round Table included Senior ATO representatives, Second Commissioner Andrew Mills and Chief Tax Counsel Kirsten Fish, joined by Professor Gordon Cooper from Cooper & Co, and Peter Godber from Grant Thornton communicating directly with tax professionals in a question and answer format across a range of topics.

    An array of current technical issues was covered including:
    1. Family Partnerships
    2. Superannuation including meeting the $1.6m transfer balance cap and retirement planning arrangements
    3. Corporate Residency
    4. Private Group Demergers
    5. Small Business Restructure Roll-over
    6. Unpaid present entitlements under sub-trust arrangements

    A summary of this discussion that provides practical guidance on the above mentioned issues is now available on the ATO Legal Database.
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  • Improving our private advice

    2 months ago
    Through the Review of Private Advice we set out to learn all we could about our private advice services – and then went about making changes to improve them.

    Deputy Commissioner Tim Dyce said the ATO has made a number of changes to our advice and guidance services that are designed to be responsive to community needs.

    “The Review of Private Advice has resulted in a series of small changes that have meant big benefits to taxpayers.” Mr Dyce said.

    Our new approach is to engage with you early and provide you with timely... Continue reading
    Through the Review of Private Advice we set out to learn all we could about our private advice services – and then went about making changes to improve them.

    Deputy Commissioner Tim Dyce said the ATO has made a number of changes to our advice and guidance services that are designed to be responsive to community needs.

    “The Review of Private Advice has resulted in a series of small changes that have meant big benefits to taxpayers.” Mr Dyce said.

    Our new approach is to engage with you early and provide you with timely advice in a format you can use. We want to make it easy to get things right and harder to get them wrong.

    We’ve implemented a number of changes to improve our advice and guidance services. So far, we’ve extended our early engagement for advice service that was already on offer to big businesses to all sized businesses and individuals. We’ve also introduced a streamlined private ruling application form to help you propose your own rulings in a format that would help our technical experts get straight down to interpreting the detail of the matter.

    We are committed to improving our private advice processes and provide certainty through tailored, timely advice. We will continue to look at our processes, tweaking and improving where we can, developing tools and services to help you to comply.

    To find out more about what we’ve achieved and what’s next, visit Reshaping private advice.