Tax Disputes - Australia

Expertise across tax disputes

We have one of the largest specialist tax practices of any Australian law firm, with specialists that have both tax advisory and tax litigation expertise. The practice’s dedicated tax controversy practice has run over 150 trials and appeals since 1987, including 14 High Court (the equivalent of the US/UK Supreme Court) tax appeals. Combined with the ability to call upon all other areas of legal practice, you can rely on our robust resources and transactional experience to help resolve all types of tax disputes, including those involving Australia’s double tax treaties.

You will enjoy streamlined matter management – there is no need to separately brief commercial litigators and tax experts, a focus on strategic planning and innovative technology to deal with discovery requests. This approach ensures everything is handled promptly and efficiently.

We provide prospects opinions, prepare voluntary disclosures and ruling requests, assist with Australian Taxation Office (ATO) enquiries, disclosures and responses (including section 353-10 interviews) and represent clients at panels and meetings.

Our value add lies in our ability to advise you efficiently and independently of any positions taken by your traditional tax advisor or accountant, having regard to our market-leading tax controversy experience. Fresh eyes will often highlight ways to resolve disputes that may not have been considered previously.

Early resolution

We have well-established relationships with the ATO, government solicitors and other tax authorities. Our understanding of their approach provides opportunities for early resolution, as we undertake alternative dispute resolution methods and explore avenues for settlement.

For more complex disputes, we engage the best advocate specialists from the tax and commercial bar in Australia.

Multinational clients involved in related-party transactions benefit from our international reach and experience in the complex areas of transfer pricing and international tax dispute resolution.

Major client experience

Our recent tax disputes experience includes running the first ever case under the new Australian transfer pricing rules for Chevron. This landmark trial ran for 5 weeks and involves a constitutional challenge to the retroactive rules and a challenge under the Australia/US double tax treaty. It is just one part of the ongoing transfer pricing support we have been providing to Chevron in relation to the funding of its Australian LNG projects. We also are representing a number of foreign companies which are challenging assessments of capital gains on shares in Australian mining and real estate companies (under Australia’s land rich company provisions). Domestically, we are assisting clients involved in pay-roll tax disputes with State revenue authorities.

We advised Telstra Holdings Ltd and National Broadband Network (NBN) Co on all aspects of its negotiation of network shutdown, migration and infrastructure-sharing arrangements with NBN Co – a deal which has reshaped the telecommunications industry in Australia.

We have a full team specialising in this area.

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