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Wednesday, 20 May 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - The provision allowing for 60 days is a liberalization of the existing act, which allows for only 42 day3. Acceptance of the honorable senator's amendment would seriously affect uniformity and pre judice taxpayers in States other than New South Wales. In Victoria, only fourteen days are now allowed for the lodging of an objection. In the administration of taxation acts, there must be a definite time limit for the lodging of objections and appeals. If the caseis one in which the Commissioner readily agrees that an amendment should be made, it can be done under the general provisions of the act, which permit the Commissioner to amend an assessment within three year3 in respect of questions of fact. Whatever period is fixed, the same argument could be put forward in favour of an extension. If the honorable senator is right in his remark in relation to the bill before the New South Wales Parliament, I can only say that I have no knowledge of any departure from the uniform provision agreed to at the conference. This subject was discussed at the conference in my presence, and I was clearly of the opinion that a period of 60 days had been accepted by all the States. That, I submit, is a considerable period, and as the point raised by the honorable senator can be met in a variety of other ways, I must oppose his amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 186 to 189 agreed to.

Clause 190-

Upon every such reference or appeal -

(a)   the taxpayer shall be limited to the grounds stated in his objection ; and

(b)   the burden of proving that the assessment is excessive shall lie upon the taxpayer.

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