If you came here just to get a template or sample tax objection form to use – click here.
If you are interested in learning more about the process and how to do an objection, please read on.
If the ATO has made a decision you are unhappy with, you may have the right to object. It will generally tell you so on the letter.
If you are planning
to object, here are some tips I’ve picked up over the years:
1. Get the facts
decision again and underline the factual points they make that are wrong
and make a note of these. The facts are
the easiest points to prove are wrong. For
example, they might say you were working 5 days a week when in fact you only
work 3 days. Keep a list of these facts.
2. Consider the implications of these facts
the tax outcome from the facts being incorrect.
For example, if they say you made sales you didn’t, then obviously that
will mean you have a lower tax bill.
However, if they say you made less sales than you actually did, then you
will essentially be saying they under-taxed you. Think through the ramifications of the facts
that are wrong.
consider their relevance. Sometimes bringing
up errors that are inconsequential can hurt your case because the objection
officer will quickly form the view that, whilst there may have been factual errors,
none of them affect the outcome. List
the facts in order of relevance to the outcome.
If you have a list of other grievances you want to raise, feel free to
raise those but do so in the end and make sure you set out a reason for doing
so – for example, you may say the auditor did not take the time to consider all
the facts which is demonstrated by the behavior you are raising. Keep it relevant.
3. Remember how you got here & remember your audience
Its easy to
blame the auditor (or the original decision maker) as a bad egg and that they didn’t
understand you, just got it wrong or perhaps they were a terrible person.
there might be merit in this view, at the end of the day you are still dealing
with the same organization – the ATO.
The objections officer will be inclined to side with the auditor who is
from the same organization rather than you.
Its nothing personal against you, its just they don’t know you at all so
will be more inclined to follow the viewpoint of one of their colleagues than
think about what it was specifically that occurred during the audit process or
de-railed the original decision and make sure that doesn’t happen again.
4. Consider your strategy
know initially where this is going to end up.
If you are unhappy with the objection officer’s decision you will need
to go to Court or the Tribunal. Ideally
you should set it up for a Tribunal hearing because that will put pressure on
the objections officer to consider the matter more carefully.
way to do this is to have an overall strategy.
The objective of the strategy is to get the outcome you want, whether it
is a lower tax bill or overturning an unfavourable decision. Think about what the elements are that are
necessary to achieve this strategy.
it easy for them to reject you.
5. Include all your grounds
technical rule you need to include all the grounds of your objection. To do this you will need to identify the key
issues that make up your argument.
Steps 1 – 4
should help you do this.
This website does have a tax objection template you can use which serves as a good example of how to set out an objection.
we would be happy to help or discuss with you if you would like. Please feel free to call me on my direct line
02 7200 8201 or email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org