As the Taxation Ombudsman, we can help with and investigate your taxation complaint about the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
A taxation complaint may be formally investigated and resolved in two stages.
Stage 1 - You should first try to resolve your concern directly with the ATO (or TPB) – by lodging a formal complaint.
Stage 2 – If you remain unsatisfied, you may lodge a taxation complaint with us, the Taxation Ombudsman, for an independent investigation.
Stage 1 - Lodge a formal complaint with the ATO or TPB
We can best help you when you have already tried to resolve your concerns directly with the ATO or TPB. If you have not yet lodged a formal complaint with the ATO or TPB you can do so by contacting them directly.
Steps to lodge a complaint with the ATO or TPB
- Raise a complaint with the agency, clearly explain your concern, the outcome you want, and wait for a response.
- You should receive an email or a call from the ATO or TPB to acknowledge receipt of your complaint and to give you a complaint reference number. If you do not receive a response, you should contact them to follow up.
- It is important to keep a record of the complaint reference number and the date you lodged your complaint.
- The agency may ask you for more information to help it assess your complaint.
- If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint was handled or the outcome, you should discuss this with the agency.
- We can help you as the Taxation Ombudsman if you remain unsatisfied.
Stage 2 - Lodge a complaint with the Taxation Ombudsman
If you remain unsatisfied after attempting to resolve your formal complaint with the ATO or TPB, please lodge the details of your complaint with us so we may determine how we may help you. We can best help you if you also provide us with your ATO or TPB complaint reference number.
What we can do
We believe in the fair, equitable and transparent administration of the tax system. We can investigate your complaint about the ATO or TPB. We have direct access to ATO officers, records and systems and can, for example:
- review the ATO's debt recovery action;
- investigate delays with processing refunds or payments;
- investigate delays with processing tax returns;
- follow up on delays in responses - including to objections;
- confirm whether the relevant information has been considered for your matter;
- better understand the actions and decisions taken by the ATO (or the TPB); and
- identify other options you may have and the agencies that can help you.
What we cannot do
- provide you with advice about how to structure your tax affairs; and
- assist you with decisions made by other government agencies.
Even if we can't resolve your issue, we work cooperatively with other agencies and service providers and can help you identify who can best help you.