Tax dispute resolution in the modern era – the 50th WA State Convention

Jonathon Leek CTA
The Tax Institute's annual Western Australian State Convention will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with an outstanding line-up of local and interstate speakers, practical workshops and technical sessions that emphasise 'real-world' application.

We recently spoke with Jonathon Leek CTA – a Partner who leads the Perth tax practice at Deloitte Legal, one of The Tax Institute’s WA State Council members and Chair of our WA Technical Committee – about what to expect from his session at the Convention: 'Tax dispute resolution in the modern era'.

Jonathan will examine the life cycle of a tax dispute, and will offer practical insights from his career as a lawyer experienced in each phase of a dispute. 

He told us: “Tax disputes are inevitable because tax law is complex. But the resolution of disputes is evolving as the ATO evolves. Taxpayers want the best possible outcomes and this means proactively managing risk and engaging with the ATO earlier and a little differently.”

Jonathan’s session will look at tax risk management, risk review and audit management, the Commissioner’s information-gathering powers, alternative dispute resolution and settlement, objection and appeal preparation, and debt management pending resolution.

As a partner at Deloitte Legal, the legal arm of Deloitte Australia, Jonathan began working in tax in 1994, and joined The Tax Institute the year after. Having worked in accounting firms, law firms and as an independent barrister, he moved to Perth from Sydney in 2012.

Jonathan told us: “When there is a tax dispute, taxpayers and their advisers need to re-examine the subject matter of the dispute with a critical eye to work out the best way forward. Fresh thinking and early engagement with the ATO will often lead to the optimal outcome. It’s also important to know a taxpayer’s rights and how to best exercise them.”

Asked what delegates will take away from the session, Jonathan said, “Hopefully, delegates will gain some insights that will cause them to think deeply about how they handle tax disputes. The need for careful preparation and planning in advance of engagement with the ATO, in a robust yet respectful way, will hopefully come through.” 

An Honorary Fellow of the University of Western Australia, where he lectures in postgraduate tax law and coordinates the units on Advanced Corporate Tax and Tax Dispute Resolution, Jonathon has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading tax lawyers in a number of client and peer surveys over many years, including Best Lawyers, Chambers Guide and the International Tax Review.

Asked what he enjoys when not knee-deep in tax, Jonathan told us that, “while lecturing at UWA does keep me knee-deep in tax, I enjoy the interaction with students and I feel that I am giving something back to the profession. I am also a Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve. This is completely different from tax and I get to work with great people who are extremely committed to what they do. Beyond that, I have two sons aged 13 and 9, which keeps me busy, as any parent knows.”

The 50th Western Australian State Convention takes place on 17-18 August 2017 at Crown Perth. The Convention also features a panel discussion on ‘Managing Tax Risk’ with Marc Lewis (Woodside), Andrew Mills CTA-Life (ATO) and Brian Purdy CTA (South32).'

You can find out more on our website.

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