Allens

Disputes

The Federal and State tax authorities are targeting big business with increased audit activity. Using enhanced risk profiling and broad information gathering powers they are successfully able to focus on key issues.

Antiavoidance provisions are being tested not only in the area of income tax, but also GST and state taxes. Even directors have been warned that they will be held accountable for the actions of their companies.

In this environment, it is important for large corporates to have access to outstanding strategic and technical legal advice on how to deal with the ATO when under review. Advice, for example, on document management, on how best to deal with information requests and statutory demands, and, if necessary, objections and appeals. Advice on when to apply for judicial review, when to make an FOI request, when it is necessary to make disclosures to the ASX, and importantly, on how best to deal with the ATO.

Experience in all stages of tax disputes

The Allens tax group has a team of dispute resolution lawyers with a wealth of expertise and experience in acting for leading corporations when confronted by these sorts of issues. We have acted in numerous large case, complex and single issue audits, helping clients with audit management and in negotiations with the ATO and State Revenue authorities. We have managed some of the largest tax litigation in Australia, earning a reputation for excellence and for achieving successful outcomes.

Being part of one of the largest law firms in the region, we have access to extensive resources in all related legal areas and can call on the expertise of specialists in all areas. For example, if a tax audit results in litigation we work together with Australia's foremost litigators to ensure the best result and when a Corporations Law issue arises (such as an ASX disclosure issue) we can provide you with access to Australia's leading commercial lawyers.

The consequences of not responding adequately to ATO requests and demands, of handing over the wrong document, or of not giving the right information, can be serious. There also can be negotiations with the ATO on several fronts. Occasionally, decisions need to be made on whether to pursue an issue in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the Federal Court. Deciding what to do in such cases is often a matter of judgment and strategy, requiring care, experience, and expertise.

We have acted extensively in all these areas and have the experience, capability and systems to assist in managing these disruptive events in corporates' operations.