Tax Disputes and Litigation

MinterEllison’s tax practice is one of the largest of any law firm in Australia, with a specialty in tax disputes and litigation. We operate a national practice and have specialists in federal and state taxes in each of our offices. Clients instructing us on a tax dispute or tax litigation matter benefit from both our technical expertise and our experience in dealing with tax authorities. We actively seek to resolve disputes through settlement negotiations and mediations wherever possible and, where this is not possible, we conduct litigation in the AAT, the Federal Court and the High Court. We have experienced tax dispute/litigation specialists in:

  • income tax and capital gains tax 
  • indirect taxes such as GST and customs duty 
  • fringe benefits tax and other employment-related taxes 
  • state taxes such as stamp duty, land tax and payroll tax

We work closely and effectively with our clients’ other advisers and respect the relationships clients have with their existing advisers. We provide advice on requests/notices to provide documents and information; on claims of legal privilege; on audits; position papers; assessments; objections; negotiations and appeals; and provide strategic advice on clients’ tax positions and the conduct of dealings with federal and state revenue authorities having regard to the potential impact on any future litigation.

With senior litigation expertise embedded within our national tax team, our lawyers have been involved in a number of important tax cases. We have significant experience negotiating with the Australian Taxation Office’s High Wealth Individuals Taskforce and Project Wickenby matters. Importantly, we have strong and long-standing relationships with experienced tax counsel at the Bar. The specialist ability and experience of members of our team has also been acknowledged by the Australian Taxation Office, including recommending us to conduct government funded test case litigation on behalf of taxpayers.

25 January 2016

Late last year, the High Court handed down its decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Australian Building Systems Pty Ltd (in liq) [2015] HCA 48. The ATO has recently issued a Decision Impact Statement (DIS) setting out its view of the consequences of the High Court's decision.

20 April 2015

The High Court has granted special leave to appeal the decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Australian Building Systems Pty Ltd (in liq) [2014] FCAFC 133 which held that a liquidator is not required to retain funds from the proceeds of sale of an asset to pay tax before an assessment is issued.