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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator PEARCE - The Treasurer supplies the following answers : - 1. (a) Since the income tax was first enacted, 12,332.

(b)   Two.

2.   One thousand eight hundred and eighty-six pastoralists, and 6,475 businesses, of which 153 and 310 respectively failed to furnish returns.

3.   As far as possible, Yes.

4.   The Commissioner visits each State for the special purpose of dealing with important cases. Decision by one central authorityis imperative, and cannot be departed from.

5.   There are three persons now engaged in the central administration of the taxation laws, namely, a Commissioner, an Assistant Commissioner, and a Chief Deputy Commissioner, all of whom control the administrative section of the central administration office of the Department. These three officers meet at least once each day in conference to deal with all matters arising in connexion with the administration of the Department.

The Deputy Commissioners cannot be authorized to give final and binding decision on questions not covered by general rulings from the central administration, as Deputy . Commissioners vary in their opinions as to the interpretation of the law. It is essential that every decision by the Department shall be observed throughout the Commonwealth, and Deputy Commissioners could not have authority for each other in that respect.

6.   This matter will be considered.

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