Miscellaneous 2019

Difficulties in settling disputes with the Commissioner of Taxation

Source: Taxation In Australia Journal Article

Published Date: 1 Jul 2019


On 30 January 2015, Mr Pintarich paid $839,115.43 under the ATO's original letter dated 8 December 2014, believing that it compromised his disputed taxation debt of $1,156,787.72 by accepting his application for remission of the general interest charge (GIC) assessed to him. Mr Pintarich understood the ATO's letter to be a decision on his GIC remission application because the amount due by 30 January 2015 included all of the assessed primary tax and part of the GIC. The ATO then sent Mr Pintarich a letter demanding the payment of his allegedly outstanding GIC debt of $344,604.90 and formally disallowing his application for emission of GIC. The Federal Court and Full Federal Court dismissed Mr Pintarich's two appeals. This article discusses the difficulties in compromising taxation disputes with the ATO because the doctrine of estoppel does not apply to it, and suggests that the ATO would never have sought recovery of the additional GIC (by changing the meaning of its original letter) or pursued this case in response to the taxpayer's appeals under an independent Advocate-General of Taxation.

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Miscellaneous 2019

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