There are some decisions ATO make that the tax laws don’t allow you to dispute by lodging an objection (though generally there are other ways of having these decisions reviewed).
You can’t use the objection process to dispute:
- a general interest charge (but you can ask us to remit it – reduce or cancel)
- a decision not to remit a general interest charge
- a shortfall interest charge (but you can ask us to remit it)
- a decision not to remit a shortfall interest charge (unless the amount of interest to be paid after the decision has been made is more than 20% of the shortfall amount – see example)
- a late payment penalty (but you can ask us to remit it)
- a decision not to remit some penalties (unless what you owe after the decision has been made is $340 or more)
- a private ruling if an assessment has issued covering the period (you may object to the assessment instead)
- an excise private ruling where there is another reviewable decision about the excise duty (or other amount payable) in relation to the same goods (you may object to the other decision)
- administratively binding advice or advice about proposed changes to tax laws
- a super co-contribution determination (you have to request a review).
Example – shortfall interest charge
You can object to our decision not to remit a shortfall interest charge if the interest you are left to pay is more than 20% of the shortfall amount. If your tax shortfall is $2,000, 20% is $400. If, after ATO have made a decision on remission, the shortfall interest charge (SIC) is $401 or more, you could object to that decision. Conversely, if it were $400 or less you could not object to it.