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Freezing orders and garnishee notices


The last several years have witnessed a rise in the exercise of special powers of recovery by the Australian Taxation Office in a string of high-profile cases. This article considers the doctrinal and statutory bases for two such powers, being the grant of freezing orders pursuant to rules of court and the ATO’s entitlement to garnish moneys held by parties indebted to taxpayers under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth). Additionally, the authors examine the impact of recent case law decisions on the requirements which must be satisfied in order for the ATO to validate its use of such powers, and conclude by setting out the steps which parties might consider taking when anticipating or responding to a freezing order or garnishee notice.

Author profiles

Timothy Russell
Tim works at the School of Taxation and Business Law (ATAX), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales. - Current at 16 May 2013
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Rashelle Seiden CTA
Rashelle is a barrister practising at Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers in Sydney. She maintains a diverse practice including tax appeals, administrative law, recovery proceedings and tax-related criminal proceedings. She is a Deputy President and Divisional Head of the Revenue Division of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal on a part-time basis. She has appeared in a number of high-profile tax cases and has particular hands-on experience in the area of garnishees and forfeiture orders. - Current at 18 February 2013
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