Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 20 May 1936

Senator E B JOHNSTON (Western Australia) . - I move-

That after the word " assessment ", second occurring, the words " or within such further time, not exceeding twelve months after the date of service, as the Commissioner or the Board of Review may allow " be inserted.

The purpose of this amendment is to make less rigid the time limit imposed upon a taxpayer wherein he may lodge formal notice of objection. The clause as drafted confers no right upon the Commissioner to extend the time of 60 days within which he may accept notice of objection, no matter what the circumstances may be; he may think it fair to extend the time, hut is powerless to do so. While normally a period of 60 days should be ample for a taxpayer to take the steps necessary to protect his rights, in many cases, owing to special circumstances, it will prove insufficient. It must be remembered that an objection in general terms is not sufficient; the bill provides that it must be stated " fully and in detail ". This entails, in all but the simplest cases, reference to the taxpayer's legal advisers. If a taxpayev resides in a distant part of the country, or, perhaps,- is at the time abroad, such period is quite inadequate. The Minister refused to accept the amendment proposed by Senator Leckie on the ground that it would defeat the endeavour to achieve uniformity. My amendment would bring about uniformity, because the bill before the New South Wales Parliament, which is supposed to be uniform with this one, provides for these contingencies. Clauses 219 and 241 of the measure provide that the Commissioner may extend the time for the lodgment of an objection up to twelve months, and should he decline to meet the taxpayer in this regard, the taxpayer may then apply to the board of appeal for such extension. The need to liberalize the existing provisions is all the more necessary in view of the fact that clause 170 precludes any amendment of an assessment other than in relation to errors of calculation or of fact, if the taxpayer has not lodged an objection. In other words, no matter how grossly incorrect an interpretation of the law might have been,no alteration can be made by either the Commissioner or the court unless the taxpayer has lodged objection on the proper ground and within the stipulated time. Unless it, desires to collect taxe3 to which it is not, legally entitled, the Government would not lose anything by accepting the amendment. I do not believe that it has any such desire, and, therefore, I hope that it will accept the amendment.

Suggest corrections