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The legislative interface between the creation of a liability to tax and the right to challenge that liability


The “conclusive evidence” provisions in the taxation legislation have the effect of establishing conclusively (except in Pt IVC proceedings) that the amount and all the particulars in a notice of assessment produced by the Commissioner are correct. Provision is made in Pt IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (TAA) for objections to assessments and for reviews by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and appeals to the Federal Court. Together, the conclusive evidence provisions and Pt IVC of the TAA give voice to a legislative policy in respect of the interface between the creation of a liability to tax upon assessment under statute by an officer of the Executive, the Commissioner and the constitutionally necessary ability for the recipient of an assessment to be able to challenge that asserted liability by an invocation of judicial power. Sections 14ZZM and s14ZZR of the TAA also give voice to a legislative policy in respect of this legislative interface.

This paper examines the operation of this legislative interface and highlights that the current taxation regime does not adequately address the protection of taxpayers against the impact of erroneous assessments.

Author profile

Sylvia Villios CTA
Sylvia is a lecturer at the Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide. Sylvia researches and teaches in taxation law, particularly focussing on questions about the operation of the Australian tax system, taxation policy, corporate taxation and the role, powers and accountability of the Commissioner of Taxation. She heads the taxation sub-group of the Regulation of Corporations, Insolvency and Taxation (ROCIT) research unit which is based at the University of Adelaide. She is an editorial panel member of the Australian Tax Law Bulletin, Lexis Nexis. She is currently undertaking her PhD titled 'A Framework for Corporate Insolvency Taxation: The Crossroads of the Theoretical Perspectives in Taxation Law and Insolvency Law' at the University of Adelaide. - Current at 01 February 2016
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