The Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, has announced there will be a new division at the AAT from 1 March 2019.

The AAT has today released two documents for consultation on the proposed operations of the new Small Business Taxation Division (SBTD). The documents are:

Practice Direction Review of Small Business Taxation Decisions

Guide to Small Business Taxation Division.

The SBTD is one of several new measures designed to make the process to dispute an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) objection decision at the AAT easier, faster and cheaper for small businesses. Other measures include a Concierge Service delivered by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

SBTD applicants will have a case manager once they have applied to the AAT. They will also pay a reduced application fee. Small business taxation decisions will be finalised within an expedited turnaround time of 28-days from the date of a hearing at the AAT, unless other arrangements are made.

Under a scheme administered by the ASBFEO, small business taxpayers who apply to the SBTD and do not have legal representation will be able to access one hour of free legal advice after they lodge their applications.

We are working closely with the ATO and ASBFEO to prepare for the launch of the SBTD and to streamline the process of disputing ATO decisions for small businesses.

If you wish to comment on the draft Practice Direction and Guide, please email your feedback by 21 February 2019.