Often, a taxpayer can apply to the Commissioner of Taxation for a Private Ruling that sets out the ATO’s opinion on how the taxation laws apply to you and your specific circumstances. If you apply to the ATO for a Private Ruling and are given a Private Ruling by the Commissioner of Taxation, the taxation laws must be applied to your situation in a way that is consistent with the Private Ruling that has been given by the Commissioner.
The Taxation Commissioner can generally decide on a Private Ruling where it is in response to an Application for a Private Ruling that is made by a particular person (or entity). The Australian Taxation Office considers an entity to be:
- An individual taxpayer;
- A partnership;
- A body corporate;
- A trust (where the trustee applies for the private ruling);
- A superannuation fund; and
- Any other unincorporated association.
Generally, you would apply for a Private Ruling where you wish to be certain about how the taxation laws apply to your specific circumstances. Private Rulings set out the Commissioner‘s opinion on how taxation laws will apply to your specific circumstances and may include the following tax areas:
- The Medicare levy;
- Income tax;
- Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT);
- Excise duty;
- Fuel tax credits;
- Goods and Services Tax (GST);
- Luxury Car Tax (LCT); and
- Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).