OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS

Objections

Customers can lodge an objection if they receive a tax assessment, reassessment, or a decision from us that they disagree with.

An objection is a formal internal review process for resolving disputes and we determine objections for all revenue lines we administer. Our technical experts strive to ensure that the complexities of taxation legislation are clearly and concisely communicated to customers.

While the vast majority of our decisions are undisputed, a small percentage of decisions attract objections by customers questioning whether a particular situation attracts a tax liability or disputing their eligibility for a concession/exemption.

In 2017-18, we determined 1771 objections to 4988 assessments, with 85 per cent completed within our 90-day key performance indicator and 71 per cent completed within 60 days.

Managing objections 2017-18

  Back to Work Duties GAIC Motor Vehicle Duty Land Tax Payroll Tax Congestion Levy FHOG Unclaimed Money Total %
Objections received* 105 314 5 3 4059 534 2 35 0 5057  
Objections processed* 159 314 3 2 3972 503 2 33 0 4988  
Allowed in full 45 60 0 0 586 71 1 7 0 770 15.44
Allowed in part 4 25 0 2 721 144 0 2 0 898 18.00
Disallowed in full 72 187 1 0 2197 235 1 20 0 2713 54.39
Withdrawn by taxpayer before decision 17 8 0 0 59 19 0 1 0 104 2.09
Closed/invalid 21 34 2 0 409 34 0 3 0 503 10.8
Objections pending 30 June 2018 8 97 3 2 228 291 4 6 0 639  
*In this table, the number of objections refers to the total number of assessments objected to. Some objections, particularly for payroll tax and land tax, are in relation to multiple assessments. 

Appeals

Where we are unable to resolve an objection internally, customers can seek to have their matter determined by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or the Supreme Court.

Our legal specialists generally resolve approximately two-thirds of cases without the need for litigation, either before or after the matters are referred to VCAT or set down for a Supreme Court appeal. However, some matters can only be resolved by substantive hearings.

In 2017-18, we received 121 requests seeking referrals to VCAT or the courts, including appeals by either party and refund applications. The Commissioner’s original decisions and assessments were substantially upheld in 80 per cent of cases that proceeded to hearing.

Managing appeals 2017-18

  Back to Work Duties GAIC Motor Vehicle Duty Land Tax Payroll Tax Congestion Levy FHOG Other † Total  
Appeals received  0 51 1 0 58 8 0 3 0 121  
Taxpayer appeals dismissed at hearing  0 6 0 0 10 0 0 4 0 20 (20/25) 80%
Taxpayer appeals upheld at hearing 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 5  
Matters settled before hearing 5 38 1 2 43 9 2 4 0 104  
Appeals completed (±) 5 46 1 2 54 10 2 9 0 129  
± Appeals completed includes multiple matters heard together and matters for completed contested hearings that are unreported at time of publication.
†Non-statutory appeal litigation, including contested debt recovery or subpoena, non-revenue line litigation and administrative law proceedings.