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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
As a revenue law specialist, Rashelle focuses on tax litigation, including tax appeals, administrative review, recovery proceedings and tax-related criminal proceedings. In addition, she advises and represents clients in matters concerning administrative law, trusts, corporate and commercial law, bankruptcy and insolvency. Rashelle has appeared in many high-profile cases in the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia and the NSW Court of Appeal. In 2013, she was appointed Senior Counsel for the State of NSW. Rashelle was listed in the Doyle’s Guide 2016 as a Recommended Taxation Senior Counsel, and a Leading Taxation Senior Counsel in 2017. Rashelle is also a Principal Member, and member of the Appeal Panel, of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. - Current at 09 February 2018
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