Australian Taxation Office Pronouncements: Why tax advisers need to exercise caution
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This opinion piece summarises the research and finding of three previously published papers in the New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy.
The authors’ research suggests that the sometimes confusing and apparently convoluted legislative change and evolving case law are leading practitioners to become increasingly reliant on ATO rulings and advice rather than conducting their own legislative research and making their own interpretations of statutes.
This article argues that the practice of accepting ATO opinions without challenge can have extremely significant fiscal impacts on taxpayers and tax collections. It warns that tax practitioners should not always consider that the rulings, determinations and advice provided by the ATO give the greater clarity and certainty in the preparation and lodgement of taxation returns and the payment of tax that are sought by practitioners.