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Resolving Australian tax controversies: Does the tax jurisprudence under the European Convention on Human Rights suggest a better way?


In both his 2013 and 2014 annual reports, the Australian Inspector General of Taxation wrote of the need to consider the adoption of a taxpayers’ bill of rights in Australia. While a charter of taxpayer rights has been a feature of ATO administration for almost two decades, it does not provide a legal remedy for an aggrieved taxpayer. In the absence of constitutional protection for fundamental rights, and the inapplicability of Australian human rights legislation to taxation matters, the courts have been reluctant to extend legal protections to taxpayers. If neither the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (TAA) nor the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) are applicable then, typically, taxpayers are left to the vagaries of the ATO’s internal dispute resolution procedures or to attempt to convince the Ombudsman, and now Inspector?General, of the merits of their case.

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Dr Justin Dabner CTA
Justin ia an Associate Professor, Law School, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia; Adjunct research fellow in Business Law and Taxation, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Australia. - Current at 01 April 2016
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