Stephen Chen
Partner, Melbourne
I specialise in taxation law, with a focus on tax controversy and litigation. I regularly instruct and appear in tax cases across almost all jurisdictions in Australia, including Federal and State Courts and Tribunals. I have conducted litigation and provided advice across an array of diverse tax issues including income tax, GST, stamp duty, payroll tax, research and development, tax debt recovery and legal professional privilege.

I'm a trusted advisor to a number of large multinational and ASX-listed corporate groups. In addition, I routinely act for the ATO, having instructed in a number of significant cases, regularly presenting and facilitating workshops, assisting with preparing public tax rulings, and advising on formal access powers.

I also draw on my qualifications as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor, to provide holistic commercial and strategic advice to my clients.

Career highlights

  • Managed some of the largest tax audits in Australia for listed and multinational corporate taxpayers and large private groups.
  • Instructing solicitor in various tax cases, recent highlights including: Victoria Power Networks v FCT, Song v FCT (No. 1), Anna Paule & Others v FCT, PKWK v Innovation and Science Australia and Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v A&S Services Pty Ltd.
  • Achieved excellent outcomes in settlement meetings and alternative dispute resolution, having instructed and appeared in mediations, independent conciliations, independent binding determinations and early neutral evaluations, having received accreditation at the Australian Advocacy Institute.
  • Advised and attended GAAR Panel hearings, ATO independent reviews, test case funding applications, formal interviews and ATO in-house conciliations.
  • Prepared numerous private ruling applications, objections and responses to position papers that have resulted in favourable outcomes.
  • Assisted the ATO with redrafting model settlement deed and the preparation of public rulings and interpretative decisions.
  • Achieved substantial and full remission of interest and penalty amounts pursuant to Part IVC and Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 appeals (of amounts in excess of $1 million).