It is important to us that you are able to fully participate in the review and present your case.
Our processes are informal and user-friendly. You can deal with us directly with little or no assistance if you wish.
However, we understand that you may need or want assistance with your review, or other kinds of support.
Can I represent myself?
Yes. You can deal directly with us (represent yourself) or ask someone to help and represent you.
If you have any questions about the review process, you can ask us.
If representing yourself, we will usually call you within 7 days after we receive the application to explain the review process and ask whether you need additional assistance, such as an interpreter.
We might also suggest that you seek assistance in relation to your case.
Can I ask someone to represent me?
Yes. You can arrange for a lawyer or another professional person (for example, a chartered accountant or tax agent) to represent you. A representative could also be a family member or friend.
If you want legal advice or someone to represent you, it is best to organise this as soon as possible.
We cannot pay for any costs of a lawyer or professional person to represent you.
A representative can:
- receive all documents relating to the review on your behalf
- communicate with us on your behalf
- give us written evidence and written submissions on your behalf
- attend conferences and the hearing.
To appoint a representative, you must provide us with their details.
If you have already lodged the application for review and wish to appoint a new representative, you should provide us their details in writing.
You must tell us immediately if there are any changes to your representative’s details.
Where can I find help with my review?
We can help you understand the review process but we cannot give you advice about your case.
There are professional people (for example, lawyers, chartered accountants or tax agents) and other organisations that can help you with your review.
We cannot pay for someone to assist you. We cannot recommend a particular individual or organisation to help you.
Help from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman concierge service
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) is a Australian Government agency that provides independent assistance to small businesses and family enterprises in resolving various disputes with other businesses or Australian Government agencies.
The ASBFEO concierge service can assist you with the review process, including access to general and legal advice about whether or not it is advisable to seek review of your decision at the AAT.
Help from a lawyer or barrister
Your local law society can help you find a lawyer, and your local bar association can help you find a barrister. In some circumstances, lawyers and barristers may agree to act for free or at reduced rates (pro bono).
Tip: Find your local law society or bar association’s contact details on the internet by searching ‘law society’ or ‘bar association’ and your state or territory.
Help for Indigenous Australians
There are Aboriginal Legal Services in each state and territory that may be able to assist you:
Help from tax practitioners
You may be able to get help from a chartered accountant, tax agent, or from the following university tax clinics run by students under the supervision of tax practitioners:
Can I have an interpreter?
Yes. If you need an interpreter, please let us know. We will arrange for a qualified interpreter to assist, free of charge.
For immediate assistance in your language, please contact TIS on 131 450.
Can I have assistance because of a disability?
Yes. If you need assistance because of a disability, please contact us as soon as possible. We will try and make arrangements to help.
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service.
Where can I find other types of support?
You, your family or friends may need other types of support. The organisations listed below provide help to people in need.
- Lifeline – provides 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Ph: 13 11 14
- 1800 RESPECT – provides 24 hour support to people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. Ph: 1800 737 732
Didn’t find the right support for you? Please refer to further information about mental health services.
Can I get help with costs?
Help from the Attorney-General’s Department
The Attorney-General's Department might be able to help with some of the costs of preparing for the review.
Find more information about receiving financial assistance by checking the Legal financial assistance information sheet on the Attorney-General's website.
Help from the Commissioner of Taxation
Costs of legal representation
The Commissioner of Taxation (the Commissioner) sometimes engages an external legal service provider to act for the Commissioner in the Small Business Taxation Division. The Commissioner has policies which explain when they will consider engaging an external lawyer, for example, where the outcome of the matter may affect many people or businesses, or it has a high level of technical or factual complexity. The Commissioner has indicated that, where they decide to use external legal services, they will meet the costs of legal representation for a small business with no legal representation up to a certain amount. The Commissioner must tell you and the AAT if it engages an external legal service provider.
Further information can be found in the ATO’s Dispute Resolution Instruction Bulletin on the ATO website.
Test case litigation program
The Test Case Litigation Program funds cases that have broader implications beyond the individual dispute with the ATO and provides financial assistance to taxpayers to help them meet some or all of their reasonable litigation costs.
Help from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)
The ASBFEO concierge service contributes to the cost of legal advice for eligible small businesses.
For further information, see the ASBFEO website.