Published on 01 Jun 12
by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE
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.
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