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HWI audits: the long and winding road paper


HWI audits target a particular segment of the community, thus are approached by all concerned differently to other types of audits. HWI audits have a different dynamic; a different cadence. Between the initial questionnaire from the ATO to the final settlement deed or court decision, many things can, and do, happen. Don’t expect things to be resolved quickly: they rarely will be. This paper takes you through the life-cycle of a “typical” HWI audit (if there is such a thing) and will cover the following:

  • who are the targets of HWI audits and why?
  • let’s get it straight: the ATO is not there to help
  • audit process management - the do’s and don’ts
  • who should or should not be involved
  • establishing positions
  • access to documents - by the ATO and from it
  • “know when to fold them, know when to hold them, know when to walk away, know when to run” - negotiations and settlement
  • when to stand and fight it out before the AAT or courts.

Author profile

Paul Sokolowski CTA
Photo of author, Paul SOKOLOWSKI Paul is a partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, and is the national leader of the firm’s taxation practice. Paul advises clients, including high-net-worth individuals, large private groups and public entities in tax reviews, audits, disputes and litigation, and in domestic and international transactions. Paul is a regular speaker and writer for the Tax Institute, and other organisations and publications. He actively contributes to tax policy, legislative, technical and administrative development and debate. In March 2019, Paul won The Tax Institute’s 2019 Chartered Tax Advisor of the Year Award. - Current at 16 June 2022
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This was presented at 45th Victorian State Convention: Finding buried treasure .

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