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Wednesday, 20 May 1936

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

That after the word "objection", paragraph (a), the following words be inserted: - "unless the board or court hearing the appeal gives leave to add further grounds. In such a case the Commissioner shall have 30 days (after the furnishing by the taxpayer of any information required by the Commissioner in relation to such further grounds) within which to consider the further grounds ".

The proposal is merely to give the Commissioner power to do certain things, and is in agreement with the provision of the New South Wales bill. Its inclusion in this measure is desired for the reasons that were given in regard to the proposed amendment of clause 185. It is a matter for regret that the Minister has not the New South Walesbill before him.

Senator Arkins - The New South Wales draft bill may not be accepted by the State parliament.

Senator E B JOHNSTON - The Minister says that we should aim at uniformity. My amendment would make for uniformity. As the bill stands, no matter how incorrect an assessment may be, a court cannot order the Commissioner to correct it unless the taxpayer has stated the proper grounds of objection. Nor has the court any power to allow an objection to be altered. On matters of appeal', it is submitted that the court or the board of review should be left as free as possible to determine the questions at issue, and should not be bound by technicalities as to whether or not the taxpayer included certain grounds in his original objection. It might be suggested that the acceptance of the amendment would leave the way open to unscrupulous tax agents to omit to disclose the real grounds of objection until the appeal reached the court. It is not thought that great weight can be given to the suggestion, and, in any case, the court itself has a discretionary power in the matter.

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