The ATO says that while it does not settle disputes at any cost, the sensible use of settlements is part of its commitment to earlier and more effective dispute resolution.
In 2015/16, it settled 1,362 cases- almost one-third (31%) more than in the previous year.
The increased number of settlements can be attributed entirely to settlements finalised as part of Project DO IT (Declare Overseas Income Today)- in all, there were 676 settlements, or about 50% of the total number of cases it settled.
Each of these settlements occurred at the earliest stages, with a focus on earlier dispute resolution, the ATO is settling cases earlier across all market segments.
In 2015/16, 96% of settlements occurred prior to litigation, compared to 84% in 2014/15.
Strategies like in-house facilitation have contributed to settlements in the micro business, small business and individual markets have resulted in a large reduction in litigation proceeding to the Administrative appeals Tribunal.
The AAT received only 396 applications in 2015/16, down from 533 in 2014/15.
Ref: ATO website- Settlements