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ANZ Bank required to hand over Vanuatu information


The Commissioner of Taxation’s access and investigative powers under ss 263 and 264 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 have been found by the courts to be extensive and wide ranging, largely unconstrained in their exercise, and coercive and inquisitorial in their application. The recent decision in Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd v Konza considers these powers in the context of the Commissioner’s attempts to compel banks to produce information about customers in low tax or nil tax jurisdictions, in the face of resistance by the banks, on various grounds, to the provision of such information.

This article examines the Konza case in detail, and concludes that the decision has not altered the jurisprudence of s 264. One important factor in the case was the agreed fact that the information sought by the Commissioner had been electronically transmitted to Australia from Vanuatu, and was therefore readily available in Australia.

Author profile

Christopher Branson
Chris was admitted as Solicitor NSW September 1967 and admitted as Barrister NSW in August 1975. He was then appointed Queen’s Counsel and QC in all states and territories. Chris has practised as an advocate in NSW, ACT, WA and NT since 1975 and is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Law Council of Australia Taxation Subcommittee and is a Member of the Board of Taxation Advisory Panel. - Current at 01 February 2012
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