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Not my money to give away


The Commissioner has broad powers and duties — described as the general power of administration. These derive from statute, but they involve many things, consistent with efficiently gathering the revenue. What is the scope of the revenue authority’s ability to make practical decisions when managing the revenue? This article discusses the question in the context of tax legislation, which is expressed in words; and this is against the twin backdrops of uncertainty and of limited resources. The article also explores the scope of the Commissioner’s powers, including claims about the so-called power of general administration, attempts to force particular action by an official, attempts to restrain particular action by an official, settlement negotiations before and after assessment, place of the revenue in our modified Westminster systems of governments, and the true scope of this power.

Author profile

David Marks QC CTA
David is a commercial Silk at the Queensland Bar practising principally in tax. He has a broader practice in commercial litigation, trusts and estates, and administrative law. He contributes to the life of the profession through his committee work for The Tax Institute and other professional bodies. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser and a registered Trust and Estates Practitioner. He received The Tax Institute’s Meritorious Service Award in 2013. David serves on the disciplinary panel of an international practitioner association. - Current at 12 February 2021
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