A private ruling provides advice on the interpretation of legislation we administer specific to your situation.

We provide private rulings by request when you have identified a tax technical or legislative issue which makes you uncertain of your liability. In these circumstances, a private ruling may be issued to help you pay the correct amount of tax.

You (or your agent of representative) can request a private ruling individually or jointly with others who are party to your arrangement or transaction. When you request a private ruling, you authorise us access to information or third parties, as we may require.

Things to consider about private rulings

A private ruling will only be issued if:

  • All requirements identified in Step 1 have been met; and
  • You have identified a tax technical and/or legislative issue requiring clarification, and
  • The tax technical and/or legislative issue you have identified has not previously been dealt with in one of our rulings

You must remember that a private ruling will not be issued:

  • To provide you with legal advice. If your situation involves complex and technical legislation, we recommend that you seek independent legal advice before proceeding with your ruling request,
  • Based on a hypothetical scenario or a general opinion on how the legislation should operate,
  • To evaluate alternatives and advise which options results in the least liability for tax or duty,
  • To engage in an iterative process if you previously received an unfavourable decision and now seek to request another ruling for a similar, but modified, situation, and
  • To merely confirm that all evidentiary requirements are met in order to obtain an exemption or refund

1

Prepare the written requirements

Your request must be in the form of a written submission, and address each of the following:

  • Explain why a private ruling is required,
  • Identify all parties involved by name and address
  • Outline all material facts in relation to the transaction or arrangement in respect of which the ruling is sought,
  • Describe the legislation and the issue in question,
  • State the applicant’s interpretation of the provisions at issue and the rationale for such views, including arguments for and against and any relevant case law, and
  • Permit the Commissioner of State Revenue access to such information or third parties as the Commissioner may require

For more details, please refer to our information on private rulings.

2

Gather supporting documents

When lodging your private ruling request, you are required to provide copies of any relevant documents to support your request and a diagrammatic representation of the relevant transaction or corporate structure, if appropriate.

3

Prepare a signed statement

Where the private ruling request concerns a proposed course of action, your application must be accompanied by a statement signed by you (and any other joint applicants) containing:

  • An estimated completion date for the proposed course of action, and
  • A declaration by you (and other relevant parties as appropriate) to the effect that there is a genuine intention to proceed with the proposed course of action depending on the ruling given, and that a full disclosure of all the relevant facts has been made
4

Lodge your submission

Please ensure your submission is clearly marked as “Request for private ruling” and is accompanied by all relevant supporting documents. You can email it to us at technicaladvice@sro.vic.gov.au or mail it to:

Technical Advice and Review Branch

State Revenue Office
GPO Box 1641
MELBOURNE
VIC 3001

or

Technical Advice and Review Branch

State Revenue Office
DX 260090
Melbourne

Next steps

What the Commissioner will do?

We aim to issue private rulings within 90 days of receiving a submission. The amount of time it takes to provide you with the ruling will depend on the complexity of the transaction or arrangement to which ruling request relates, the nature of the legislation involved and the need for further information to support your claim.

A private ruling applies only to the taxpayer to whom it is issued and to the factual situation presented. Other taxpayers cannot rely on it as a precedent. Likewise, a tax practitioner may not rely on a private ruling obtained for one taxpayer as a precedent for another client.

If the facts or circumstances, as presented by you, change after the private ruling has been issued, you, or your representative, must contact us to clarify whether the private ruling still applies.

A qualified private ruling applies as long as the conditions stated in the ruling continue to apply and the onus rests with the taxpayer to monitor the continuing validity of the ruling.