Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

The ATO have released a new application form to streamline the application process for private rulings. This allows agents to lodge applications in the ATO accepted style and format. It provides greater guidance when applying for a ruling, and “recognises your significant skill and ability”.

Activity statements and tax returns should still be lodged by the due date, even if you are waiting on the results of a ruling. If the ruling changes your lodgement, this can be revised later.

Agents can include details of any relevant research you have undertaken, as well as your professional opinion of how the law applies to your specific situation. Rulings can only be given on situations that are actually relevant to your client. The ATO will not give rulings about hypothetical situations.

Information Required

  • Your agent details
  • Your client’s details
  • The general subject, e.g., GST, employee or contractor
  • Completed application form, including details of the scenario, time frame, relevant law
  • Supporting documents if relevant

Portal Lodgement

  • Go to Online forms, select Private ruling application.
  • Complete the online form and attach your saved application.
  • If further information is required, this can be submitted via the Submit further information link.
  • Once lodged through the portal, you will receive a lodgement receipt. Lodging through the business or agent portal will provide a faster result than lodging via fax or post, however these options are available.

The ATO is bound to reply within 30 days, either to provide the ruling, or to advise that a ruling will not be provided , (and the reason why), or to negotiate a new date for particularly complex matters.

Complex Issue Resolution

Before lodging an application, check the existing rulings and technical advice on similar or related matters. It may also be appropriate to first contact the complex issue resolution service. These issues are generally responded to within 5 working days.

Related References

  • Updated: 16th December, 2016