From 1 March 2019, the office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) will assist small businesses in dispute with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) process.
The ASBFEO will guide small business owners through the AAT system, costs and timelines to support a timely resolution. The service will also direct small businesses to financial counselling services and other services as required, such as well-being and mental health services. It will provide access to subsidised legal advice for unrepresented small business tax payers, using a list of lawyers with tax litigation, (AAT) and small business experience.
Prior to lodging with the AAT, unrepresented small business owners will be able to engage a lawyer from the ASBFEO list at a cost of $100 for a one-hour meeting. The Commonwealth Government will subsidise the remaining fee. At this meeting, advice will be provided on matters such as prospects of success with the AAT, how best to prepare and the next steps.
If an appeal of an ATO decision is lodged with the AAT, an unrepresented small business owner may receive an additional hour of legal advice, fully subsidised by the Commonwealth Government.
For more information, contact Rockliff Snelgrove Lawyers on (02) 9299 4912.