From 1 July 2018, the ATO is running a 12-month pilot to extend its independent review service to certain small business taxpayers. This means those taxpayers
can have the ATO’s audit position on their tax affairs independently reviewed.
The independent review is conducted by an officer from the ATO’s Review and Dispute Resolution business line. This officer will not have been involved in the audit and will bring an independent “fresh set of eyes” to the case. The independent reviewer will consider the documents setting out the taxpayer’s position and the ATO audit position. They will schedule a case conference with the taxpayer and the ATO audit officer, generally within one month of receiving the taxpayer’s review request.
The ATO audit team will finalise the audit in accordance with the independent reviewer’s recommendations. The pilot is currently limited to small business disputes involving income tax audits in Victoria and South Australia.