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Wednesday, 20 May 1936


Senator DEIN (New South Wales) . - I am inclined to support the views expressed by Senator DuncanHughes. It has been said that the Commissioner will refund money that is overpaid, but how is the taxpayer to know that money is owing to him? The Commissioner and his officers are the only ones who know, and according to the Acting Attorney-General, the onus will be upon the Commissioner, and upon no one else to refund the money. If the clause provides clearly that the money shall be refunded, the Commissioner has no alternative but to carry out the law. I cannot agree with the Leader of the Opposition, when he says that the Commissioner is justified in withholding money due to a taxpayer, because in a subsequent year the taxpayer may owe money to the department-


Senator Collings - I referred only to exceptional cases.


Senator DEIN - I do not wish to misrepresent the honorable senator, but I understood him to say that the Commissioner was justified in withholding money over-paid until such time as the taxpayer may owe money to the Commissioner. We should not employ words in regard to the meaning of which there is doubt. It should be obligatory upon the Commissioner to refund the money due to a taxpayer, particularly as the amount paid to the Commissioner may have been obtained by way of an overdraft. I trust that the Postin aster-Gener al (Senator A. J. McLachlan) will accept the fair and reasonable amendment moved by Senator Duncan-Hughes.


Senator BRENNAN - The next clause makes it mandatory upon the Commissioner to notify the taxpayer of what has happened.







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