An ATO Notice of Assessment can be objected to on various grounds. An objection is different for a request for amendment because it is a formal avenue of dispute resolution which attracts appeal rights, while a request for amendment of an assessment is a procedure which does not attract appeal rights and may be used to correct a mistake or omission where there is no dispute about the facts or the law. An objection is based on an error or mistake in law or fact. It is recommended that you seek tax advice from Taxation Lawyer in respect to tax objections as they can be quite complex and procedural.
The taxpayer bears the burden of proof on the balance of probabilities. This means that in the case of an assessment the taxpayer needs to prove that the amount of the assessment is incorrect and state what the actual taxable income should be, that the assessment is wrong, or that the decision should not have been made or should have been made differently. Comprehensive and meticulous legal and financial advice should be sought with regard to tax objections.
The discretion to allow the grounds of objection to be amended is very wide. The Commissioner is required to consider the objection, provided it is lodged within the specified time limits and is valid in other respects. He may either disallow it or allow it either wholly or in part and must serve on the taxpayer a written notice of his decision. The decision to allow the grounds of objection to be amended ought to be made on the merits of the particular case and on the same considerations of justice upon which such decisions are regularly made in litigation
There are two reasons why the objection should be carefully drafted. Firstly, the objection will not be valid unless it states “fully and in detail” the grounds on which the taxpayer is relying. Secondly, if the objection later becomes the subject of review by a Tribunal or appeal to a court, the taxpayer will generally be limited to the grounds stated in the objection. It is generally desirable to have an objection drawn up by a tax agent, accountant or tax lawyer unless only a small amount is involved. The objection should be signed by the taxpayer personally or, in the case of a company, by its public officer. Our Sydney taxation lawyers can assist you in drafting, preparing and lodging an objection as it is very important to carefully draft an objection to ensure optimal chances of success.
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