In late 2018, Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert announced that the Federal Government intends to make it easier, cheaper and quicker for small businesses to resolve tax disputes with the ATO. The government will establish a Small Business Concierge Service within the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s office to provide support and advice about the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) process to small businesses before they make an application.
The government will also create a dedicated Small Business Taxation Division within the AAT, with key features including:
- a case manager supporting them throughout the process;
- a standard application fee of $500;
- fast-tracked decisions, to be made within 28 days of a hearing; and
- where the ATO appeals the AAT decision to the Federal Court, it will pay the small business reasonable costs.