As part of its bid to recover overdue tax debts from small to medium enterprises, the ATO lodged in excess of 1000 winding up applications in August and September.
NEGOTIATION: Where a genuine dispute exists with the ATO, the best avenue to pursue a resolution is via the ATO’s in-house facilitation process.
To put this into perspective, the last time the ATO lodged more than 300 winding up applications in a month was more than two years ago.
ATO mediation processWhere a genuine dispute exists with the ATO, the best avenue to pursue a resolution is via the ATO’s “in-house facilitation” process.
This involves an impartial ATO facilitator meeting with you and the ATO case officer(s) to identify the issues in dispute, develop options, consider alternatives, and attempt to reach a resolution.
The process has been designed to ensure that the dispute is dealt with by the proper decision makers for the different types of tax that are involved. This ensures disputes don’t flounder around between the different sections of the ATO.
If you choose to participate in facilitation and the dispute is not resolved, your review and appeal rights are not affected. This is the best avenue to take if you have a genuine dispute and this option may assist in dealing with the dispute quickly.
For more information go to the ATO’s website and search for “facilitation” at ato.gov.au.
When to seek helpWhere discussions with the ATO have fallen through, it may be time to seek advice from insolvency experts to discuss your options before the ATO adds another winding up application to their list or issues a Director Penalty Notice.
The benefits of seeking help early are key to achieving the best results for all concerned, as there are many options available to deal with tax debts before and after a winding up application is filed.
Simon Thorn is a partner, PKF Business Recovery & Insolvency