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Information on the ATO’s Complex Issue Resolution Service and In-house Facilitation Service

The previous Professional to Professional (P2P) service has been renamed Complex Issue Resolution (CIR). The change reflects improvements made to the service that enhance the experience of tax and legal professionals in their interactions with the ATO. The improvements bring together equivalent services previously offered to registered tax and BAS agents to create a single point of entry for all professionals to resolve complex tax and superannuation issues. The service offering to legal practitioners has not substantively changed from that provided under the P2P service.
CIR is available to resolve complex administrative issues and technical interpretation queries that you have been unable to resolve online or by phoning the ATO. CIR fills the gap between the ATO’s frontline service offerings (online and general telephony) and secondary services, such as rulings and dispute resolution. Early engagement via a discussion with the ATO can often resolve the issue and avoid escalation to these services, or we may be able to help you understand the best way to progress the matter.

Where the issue involves a dispute, rather than using CIR the preferred channel is the ATO’s in-house facilitation service. In-house facilitation is a free service where a trained ATO facilitator assists you and your client to have a discussion with the ATO to try to resolve the dispute. The facilitator is an independent ATO employee who has not been involved in the case. They manage the discussion to ensure open lines of communication and provide everyone with the opportunity to present their view of the facts and issues. Any information disclosed will only be used in the in-house facilitation process, unless disclosure is required by law. You can request in-house facilitation directly by emailing facilitation@ato.gov.au.

You can submit enquiries to CIR via an online form (search ‘complex issues resolution’ on ato.gov.au). The CIR team members will acknowledge your enquiry within one working day. They will work with an ATO officer who has expertise relevant to your issue and either source an answer from them on your behalf, or arrange for someone to contact you directly. The ATO aims to resolve issues within five working days. Some issues may take longer to resolve. If this occurs, they will advise you of the timeframe and keep you informed of the progress.

The ATO takes the security of clients’ confidential information seriously. To discuss a specific client, a legal practitioner needs to have been nominated as the client’s legal representative. Information about this is available on ato.gov.au (search ‘nomination and contact requirements for legal practitioners’).