When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Australia in 2019, many people were not prepared and was hit with unexpected fines or penalties by the governmental taxation agencies. With the closure of borders, foreigners were unable to re-enter the country due to no fault on their own. However, they would still be hit with fines or penalties for contravening taxation laws.


One such case can be explored below:

A client, Cindy, has previously purchased a property in Sydney with approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, and lived in the property in accordance with the terms of the FIRB approval.

However, due to the border closure, Cindy was unable to return to Sydney and her property was vacated for a year. Cindy was now liable for a vacancy fee up of $11,500.00.

After contacting us, our experienced lawyers used the relevant laws to devise a suitable strategy for Cindy’s situation. We were able to apply for an exemption of the vacancy fee under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulation 2015. By writing a submission to the Australian Taxation Office detailing the situation and a comprehensive defence of our client’s position using the regulations, we fought for an exemption for our client from the Australian Taxation Office regarding the vacancy fee.


Disputes with the Governmental Departments

When faced with a notice or requisition from governmental departments such as the revenue or taxation office, many people choose not to contest the issue and pay the fine or penalty.


However, you could always contact us to review the requisition or notice, and we will be able to assess if there was a possibility to overturn the decision in your circumstances. Our lawyers are experienced in drafting letters to sympathetically describe your situation, and make a sound argument for why the decision should be overturned.



If you have any further queries regarding disputes with the taxation or revenue office, do not hesitate to contact us at or 02 9267 4988.

Posted in Blog.