Let’s assume a client wants to challenge a Notice of Assessment from the ATO.
The assessment is simply too high.
Perhaps this was due to the Commissioner amending a taxpayer’s assessment of income, or including penalties and charges. Perhaps there are multiple amended assessments from previous income years.
What do you do?
It depends on the circumstances.
Some of the things you may consider are the following:
- The statutory powers for the Commissioner to issue an assessment under section 166 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (or to issue an amended assessment under section 170 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936);
- The statutory powers that protect the Commissioner from non-compliance with the Act in issuing assessments under section 175 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936;
- The ability of the taxpayer to challenge assessments under Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Part IVC proceeding);
- Seeking a review in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal;
- Challenging an assessment because it is not an “assessment” at law, on the basis it is either (a) tentative of provisional, or (b) founded on conscious maladministration;
- The ability of the taxpayer to seek a statement of reasons and judicial review under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act;
- The ability of the taxpayer to seek a review in the court’s original jurisdiction under section 39B Judiciary Act in the Federal Court or section 75 (v) of the Constitution in the High Court.
This list is not exclusive, but it is a list of issues I like to keep in mind.
I encourage you to look at all of the available avenues in challenging a notice of assessment from the ATO.