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17 Apr 077 No ADJR challenge to ATO's attempt to access accounting papers - White Industries

The Federal Court (Lindgren J) has held that a taxpayer's challenge, made under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977, to the Commissioner's decision to seek access to documents categorised as either "restricted source documents" or "non-source documents" under the Commissioner's "Guidelines to Accessing Professional Accounting Advisers' Papers", was incompetent. The decision was not "made under" an enactment as it did not affect legal rights and obligations to which the taxpayer was entitled, applying the High Court decision in Griffith University v Tang (2005) 221 CLR 99.

In contrast, the Court held that the taxpayer could continue to challenge the Commissioner's decision under s 39B(1) of the Judiciary Act 1903: White Industries Aust Ltd v FCT [2007] FCA 511 (Federal Court, Lindgren J, 11 April 2007).

For a copy of the decision, go here

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