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Tuesday, 2 December 2003
Page: 23535

Mr Murphy asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 18 September 2003:

Further the answer to question No. 1886 (Hansard, 15 September 2003, page 19412,) has the Commissioner of Taxation's communications with the New South Wales Bar Association included communication about the professional misconduct of particular barristers; if not, why not; if so, what are the details.

Mr Costello (Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Commissioner has communicated to the Bar Association his findings in aggregated form in respect of activities undertaken by certain barristers without divulging their identities.

Section 16 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 prevents the Commissioner of Taxation from discussing the affairs of individual taxpayers with others except when expressly empowered to do so under the Act. The Bar Association of New South Wales is not an entity to which the Commissioner can provide such information.