RevenueSA seeks to ensure that the correct amount of tax is collected at the right time, by facilitating willing compliance, and when dealing with non-compliance, allowing for individual circumstances in the choice of remedy.

RevenueSA is aware that disputes can arise with taxpayers and their agents where different views are held about the ‘correct amount of tax and the right time for payment’. Such disputes can arise in relation to enquiries about returns, assessments, decisions or audits.

RevenueSA is concerned to reduce the incidence of dispute, recognising that disputes are costly for both RevenueSA and for taxpayers. To this end, RevenueSA is concerned to support taxpayers to determine (and pay) the right amount of tax without uncertainty or dispute.

Many of RevenueSA’s activities are aimed at preventing or minimising disputes. Such activities include maintaining an active legislative change program, publishing information on RevenueSA’s website and running information seminars and webinars.

RevenueSA is committed to applying the taxation and housing grant laws in a fair and transparent manner and enters into disputes with taxpayers in a view of the tax at stake and to avoid establishing adverse precedents.

RevenueSA seeks to handle disputes in a collaborative and non-confrontational manner, as this is most likely to result in the most efficient and effective resolution of the dispute for all parties.

As part of the collaborative approach, RevenueSA will be, and likewise expects taxpayers to deal with the dispute in an open and transparent manner with a focus on resolving the dispute.

RevenueSA will seek to articulate clearly the matter(s) in dispute and specify expected timeframes for determining the matter, with deadlines being adhered to wherever possible. In any dispute, RevenueSA will seek to establish and agree the relevant facts as quickly as possible.

Where necessary, RevenueSA will use its statutory powers in order to obtain the relevant facts and documents as quickly as possible.

Where you are dissatisfied with an assessment or a decision made by RevenueSA, in the first instance you should contact and discuss the matter with the nominated contact officer prior to escalating the matter or formally lodging an objection. Many misunderstandings can be clarified at this point, resulting in the prompt resolution of the matter or a formal objection not being required.

RevenueSA will take into account any relevant expert advice and seek to work with taxpayers to understand fully the relevant facts and law, sharing and testing the strengths and weaknesses of RevenueSA’s own arguments, and fully understanding and testing the strengths and weaknesses of the taxpayer’s arguments, before reaching a considered view on the strength of RevenueSA’s case.

RevenueSA must be satisfied that both the substance of any decision leading to dispute resolution and the way that the resolution is put into effect are fully in accordance with the law.

The outcome of RevenueSA’s dispute resolution practice is the making of a decision and/or the issue of an assessment. This in turn leads to a right of review in accordance with the Taxation Administration Act 1996, being a right to object to the Minister (the Treasurer), who may seek advice from and the Crown Solicitor or other persons.

An objection is a written notice addressed to the Minister informing the Minister that the taxpayer is dissatisfied with an assessment or decision of the Commissioner of State Taxation (the "Commissioner”). An objection must be lodged within 60 days of either the date service of the assessment or the date of notification of the decision. The Treasurer can permit an objection after the 60-day period, but not after 12 months of the decision.

The grounds of an objection must be stated fully and in detail in the notice of objection. This generally involves setting out the facts and addressing the relevant points of law where it is considered that the Commissioner may have incorrectly applied the law. The "onus of proof" rests with the taxpayer.

After considering an objection, the Minister will confirm, revoke or modify the Commissioner’s assessment or decision. The Minister will notify the taxpayer in writing of his decision, setting out the reasons for the decision.

A taxpayer who is dissatisfied with the Minister’s determination of their objection may appeal to the Supreme Court within 60 days of the Minister’s determination of the objection. The Supreme Court can permit an appeal after the 60-day period, but not after 12 months of the determination.

The taxpayer’s case on appeal is not limited to the grounds of the objection, or the reasons for the determination of the objection or the facts on which the determination was made.

Between the determination of an objection and the filing of an appeal, a taxpayer may wish to raise additional facts or matters with the Commissioner that in the view of the taxpayer may materially alter the basis of the assessment considered by the Minister.

In view of RevenueSA’s commitment to applying the taxation laws in a fair and transparent manner, where a taxpayer wishes to introduce additional information before committing to the expense of an appeal to the Court, RevenueSA will reinstitute the dispute resolution process, seeking to handle this step in the dispute in a collaborative and non-confrontational manner.

The Commissioner has no obligation to make any further assessment on the submission of any further information. However, should the facts and other matters provided require it, the Commissioner may make a reassessment.

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