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Wednesday, 20 May 1936

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

That sub-clause (4) be left out.

This clause stipulates the conditions under which assessments may be amended. Subclauses 3 and 4 are designed to prevent the re-opening of an assessment when a taxpayer has fully and openly disclosed to the department the whole of the material facts, except where an error of calculation or mistake of fact has occurred.

Senator Collings - That is the only ground for the re-opening of an assessment.

Senator E B JOHNSTON - The serious result of passing the sub-clause in its present form would arise when the decision of a court upset the ruling of the Commissioner of Taxation. Notwithstanding the fact that the court may decide that his ruling is illegal, or his interpretation of the law erroneous, taxpayers, other than the litigant who have been assessed under the Commissioner's interpretation, can obtain no redress. The court cannot order the Commissioner to rectify an anomaly unless a 'taxpayer has shown appropriate grounds for objection.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 171 agreed to.

Clause 172-

Where by reason of any amendment the taxpayer's liability is reduced, the Commissioner may refund any tax overpaid..

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