Default assessments: the “all or nothing approach”

Published Date: 8 Feb 2024


This article considers some of the practical issues that a taxpayer faces in discharging the onus of proof in a “tax appeal” to prove that their assessment is excessive and what the assessment should have been. The focus is on a potential divergence of opinion that has arisen in recent Federal Court decisions as to whether the “all or nothing” approach to discharging the onus in default assessment cases is still valid, or whether a taxpayer can succeed to the extent that they can “chip away” at such assessment. This issue is considered in the context of default assessments issued under s 167 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) which adopt the asset betterment approach.

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