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Book Chapter

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Markham, M., & Spencer, J. (2016). Australia. In International Fiscal Association, Cahiers de Droit Fiscal International (Vol 101 A): Dispute resolution procedures in international tax matters. (pp.83-107). Hague: Sdu Uitgevers.

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In Australia, multinational enterprises have access to a number of alternative procedures to manage taxation controversies, and the Australian tax authorities have recently been focusing on updating and improving dispute resolution procedures in relation to both domestic and international tax matters.

Since 1992, Australian taxpayers have been offered the opportunity to obtain a binding opinion from the tax administration with regard to the application of a relevant provision of the tax laws to a certain transaction. This opinion is known as a private ruling, and it is binding on the Commissioner if the taxpayer relies on it. In addition, a priority ruling process has been instituted for private rulings that meet certain criteria, including being time sensitive and prospective, and associated with a transaction that is of major commercial significance, that involves complex facts or law, and that requires consideration at corporate board level. In order to provide taxpayer guidance and enhance transparency, the tax administration publishes a register of redacted private binding rulings (from which all material allowing identification of the taxpayer involved has been deleted).

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