Resolving tax disputes through constructive engagement with the ATO



Providing tax advice can be very rewarding but it also presents numerous challenges, particularly when dealing with new clients.

Clients come from a range of industries, have complex family circumstances and engage in various business transactions. Each new client brings with them their own unique set of challenges and tax advisers need to be ready and able to address these tax issues daily. 

As a trusted tax adviser, it is important to be on the forefront of the ever-changing landscape and be armed with the relevant and practical tools needed to help our clients.

At the upcoming ‘The Client Life Cycle: challenges and opportunities’ event in Perth, Jonathan Leek, CTA (Deloitte) and James Galati (Deloitte) present ‘Resolving tax disputes through constructive engagement with the ATO’.

We spoke to Jonathan about the importance of constructive engagement with the ATO and understanding taxpayer’s rights.  


Jonathan said, “The complexity of tax law makes tax disputes inevitable, and reasonable minds can differ on the application of the law. When you are in a tax dispute, the objective has to be getting the best outcome for your client. How you approach the dispute though makes achieving that objective more or less likely. This makes it important to engage constructively with the ATO and to understand the taxpayer’s rights and be willing to assert them in a respectful way.”

Jonathan and James will also look at tax risk management and its increasing importance, risk review  and audit management, and what’s involved in going to the GAAR Panel. They will also look at some particular issues in relation to R&D, a current hot topic, the Commissioner’s information gathering powers and the exceptions to them, as well as understanding the burden of proof and the need for evidence.

“Hopefully delegates will discover some tips that are relevant to their circumstances and that will point them in the right direction for when they are representing their client in a dispute with the ATO” he said.
Jonathan Leek, CTA

Jonathan is a Partner at Deloitte Legal and leads the Perth Practice, specialising in tax dispute resolution and complex tax advisory matters. He joined The Tax Institute in 1995 and is currently a member of the WA State Council, Chair of the WA Technical Committee and a Member of the National Dispute Resolution Committee.

James Galati is an Associate at Deloitte Legal in Perth. He is a lawyer with a particular focus on tax dispute resolution, complex tax advisory work, and general commercial work.

'The Client Life Cycle: challenges and opportunities' takes place 16 October 2018 at Crown Perth.

The program will explore the common tax issues that arise when engaging with a new client as well as, providing practical guidelines to deal with these issues.  Find out more about the program on our website.

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