ATO Lawyers Melbourne

ATO & Tax Lawyers Melbourne

If you have a dispute or are dealing with the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (Australian Taxation Office). We can provide you with legal advice in relation to your position.

Many come to us when being pursued by the ATO in relation to income tax, GST, superannuation obligations and other ATO related tax.

If a matter is legal or looking like it is heading legal – including following adverse audit findings – we can assist by representing you to sort the matter out and to ensure you are dealt with fairly by the ATO.

ATO Tax Disputes

Our team of tax lawyers are very experienced in negotiating with the ATO and other authorities on behalf of our clients. We can provide clear and concise legal advice in relation to such matters as:

  • ATO letters of demand;
  • garnishee notices;
  • legal proceedings;
  • statutory demands for payment of debt;
  • wind up proceedings;
  • bankruptcy proceedings;
  • remission or reduction of tax penalties and general interest charges;
  • objections to tax decisions;
  • advice on corresponding with the ATO or other authorities;
  • tax audit support;
  • self-managed super fund superannuation disputes; and
  • obtaining private rulings.

We can also advise and defend you in state-based tax disputes relating to matters such as land tax and land transfer duty.

Taxation disputes can obviously be quite stressful and time consuming. Our lawyers are mindful of the impact these disputes can have on you and a business. We work to resolve disputes quickly and cost-effectively.

We are also happy to work with your accountants. We very often work closely our clients’ accountants so that we are provided with the necessary books and records and can streamline the process; where relevant.

Our approach is organised and considered. Many of our client’s matters have resulted in positive outcomes. We have successfully negotiated adjustments being made in the taxpayer’s favour and/or the tax being paid in a workable timeframe and/or the reduction or removal of penalties.

We are knowledgeable and experienced in defending taxpayers in proceedings brought against them by the ATO.

We have seen cases where alleged tax liability has abolished completely once all the books, records, facts, and the law, are presented in an organised format.

If the ATO or a state tax authority has issued a tax assessment against you, our lawyers can help. They can advise you on your rights and an appropriate course of action to take.

If things are more advanced, and you have been served with legal proceedings, it is critical that you act immediately.

ATO Powers

Seek advice early as the tax office has extraordinary powers and can garnishee your bank accounts. Early intervention in matters can help to make sure that a tax dispute or query is handled swiftly and correctly.

Further avoiding the dispute escalating means that you can get back to business sooner without the distraction and stress of an ATO dispute.

We have helped others resolve very difficult and challenging taxation disputes and we can help you.

To discuss your situation please either call us on 1300 907 335 or complete the contact form on this page and we will respond to you quickly.


What should I do if I don’t agree with the ATO Notice or the Penalties are too high?

Often an adverse tax assessment will include penalties. If you believe that the assessment is incorrect or that the penalties are too high contact a lawyer today to discuss.

Penalties are designed to encourage taxpayers to take reasonable care with complying with their tax obligations.

Penalties may be imposed for the following conduct:

  • Making false or misleading statement or taking a position that is not reasonably arguable.
  • Failing to lodge a return or statement on time.
  • Failing to withhold amounts as required under the PAYG withholding system.
  • Failing to meet other tax obligations.

We can assist in negotiating with the ATO and seek to have penalties reduced where and when it is possible. Through careful and thorough procedures and advice, we have helped clients received very favourable outcomes in disputes with the ATO and have their penalties reduced.

What is an ATO Garnishee Notice?

The ATO has the authority to issue garnishee notices to a variety of organisations that hold money on your behalf (bank accounts). A garnishee notice stops you from accessing the money in these accounts so the money can be paid to them to reduce the ATO debt that you owe.

It can be quite distressing and problematic for individuals and companies not to be able to access their own money.

The ATO may issue garnishee notice to the following if you are an individual:

  • Your employer or contractor.
  • Your banks, financial institutions and building societies where you have accounts.
  • People who owe money to you from the sale of real estate, such as purchasers, real estate agents and solicitors.

For businesses, the ATO may issue a garnishee notice on the following:

  • Banks or other financial Institutions.
  • Trade Debtors.
  • Suppliers or merchant card facilities.

Considering the power the ATO has to issue these garnishee notices that effectively freeze your accounts, you should ensure that you have the correct legal and taxation advice. Getting advice before such action is taken, will discourage the ATO using their powers and resolve the matter.

It is unwise to avoid or ignore demands from the ATO.

If your Accountant has advised that the ATO may issue a garnishee notice, speak to a lawyer to get advice quickly before you reach this stage.

If the ATO has issued a garnishee notice you have options and you should contact us today to seek advice. You will need to resolve the matter with the ATO quickly.

What is a claim or Summons from the ATO?

If the ATO feels that you are not working with them to resolve the issue or pay your debt you may be issued with a claim or summons.

If you have received a claim or summons you have a limited timeframe to dispute or address the debt.

If you don’t file a defence or reach a settlement with the ATO, a default judgement could be made against you.

If you do not pay your debt, the ATO may issue a bankruptcy notice or otherwise take action to wind up your company. All of these actions are registered and will affect your credit rating.

Make sure to act and don’t ignore a summons, get advice as to what options you have. The longer you wait the more limited your options can become.

What is a Statutory Demand?

Any creditor can issue a statutory demand to a company (not an individual) for an unpaid debt for $5,000 or more. If you have been issued a statutory demand you only have 21 days to respond.

There is a variety of actions you can take if you have been served with a Statutory Demand. You must act swiftly to comply with the timeframe to avoid your company being wound-up.

Wind-up action is that last resort for the ATO. If you have not satisfied (paid) the Statutory Demand the ATO may take action to wind-up your company as it would be considered insolvent. Insolvency is defined as you not being able to pay your debts when they are due.

If wound-up, the company would be placed in the control of a liquidator. You lose control of the company and the liquidator would consider the best course of action so that the creditors are paid their debts.

At this stage, receiving the right advice is critical. You should obtain advice from an experienced tax lawyer. Negotiations can usually still take place at this stage before your company is wound-up.

The tax office is more interested in getting paid than winding up companies. There are options to restructure your business and work out payment plans.

Land Tax Assessments

Land tax has increased significantly over the last few years. Land tax is calculated from a valuation of your property. Also, the more properties that you own the more land tax that you will pay.

If you consider the valuation to be incorrect or that your property has been devalued, you may seek a new valuation from the State’s Revenue Office.

You may lodge an objection to the State Revenue Office directly or if you require advice to assist with this contact one of our tax lawyers today.

Some issues that we can assist with resolving:

  • The valuation being incorrect.
  • Interest has not been apportioned correctly.
  • The incorrect parcel of land being valued or bundled incorrectly.
  • Issues with dimensions of land.
  • Double land transfer duty.

Click here for more information on how the State Revenue Office determines Tax Rates: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/valuation

Vacant Residential Land Tax Assessments

Victorian State Revenue Office introduced the Vacant Residential Land Tax in January 2018. If you have received an assessment that you believe is incorrect, contact one of our tax lawyers today to discuss your matter.

Click here for more information on the Vacant Residential Land Tax : https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/vacant-residential-land-tax

When the ATO comes knocking.
  Do you have a tax debt?  Have you been issued with a letter of demand from the Australian Taxation...

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Our Locations

Melbourne CBD

Level 15,
440 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000


Level 33,
264 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000


Level 8,
1341 Dandenong Rd,
Chadstone VIC 3148


Level 2,
311 Lonsdale St
Dandenong VIC 3175


Ground Flr,
435 Nepean Hwy
Frankston VIC 3199


Level 1,
441 South Road
Moorabbin VIC 3189


Ground Flr,
84 Hotham St,
Preston VIC 3072


Level 5,
12 Clarke Street
Sunshine VIC 3020