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

We provide private rulings on request once you identify a tax technical or legislative issue which makes you uncertain of your liability. 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 to access information or contact third parties as required.

Things to consider about private rulings

A private ruling will only be issued if:

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

A private ruling will not be issued:

  • To provide you with legal advice - if your situation involves complex and technical legislation, you should seek independent legal advice before requesting a ruling,
  • Based on a hypothetical scenario or a general opinion on how the legislation should operate,
  • To evaluate alternatives and advise on options resulting in the least liability for tax or duty,
  • To engage in an iterative process if you previously received an unfavourable decision and are requesting another ruling for a similar, although modified, situation, and
  • To 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 a written submission, and:

  • 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 for which the ruling is sought,
  • Describe the legislation and the issue in question,
  • State your interpretation of the provisions in issue and the rationale for your views, including arguments for and against, and any relevant case law, and
  • Permit the Commissioner of State Revenue to access information or contact third parties as required

Read more information on private rulings.

2

Gather supporting documents

You need to provide copies of any relevant documents to support your request and a diagrammatic representation of the relevant transaction or corporate structure, if relevant.

3

Prepare a signed statement

Where your request for a private ruling 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 any other relevant parties) to the effect that there is a genuine intention to proceed with the proposed course of action depending on the ruling given, and that full disclosure of all  relevant facts has been made
4

Lodge your submission

Please ensure your submission is clearly marked “Request for private ruling” and is accompanied by all relevant supporting documents.

If your request is for a private ruling on the application of the landholder or lease provisions of the Duties Act 2000, you can send it by email to landholder@sro.vic.gov.au or by mail to:

Landholder Acquisitions Branch

State Revenue Office
GPO Box 1641
MELBOURNE
VIC 3001

or

Landholder Acquisitions Branch

State Revenue Office
DX 260090
Melbourne

All other requests for private rulings should be sent the Technical Advice and Review Branch, either by email to technicaladvice@sro.vic.gov.au or by mail 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 will the Commissioner do?

We aim to issue private rulings within 90 days of receiving a submission. The time it takes to provide you with the ruling will depend on the complexity of the transaction or arrangement it relates to, the nature of the legislation involved, and the need for more 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 private rulings as a precedent. Likewise, a tax practitioner cannot rely on a private ruling 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. The onus rests with the taxpayer to monitor the continuing validity of the ruling.