13th Annual States’ Taxation Conference - Day 1

The first day of the 13th Annual States’ Taxation Conference in Adelaide saw updates for cases (a massive paper by S. Paterson, Ernst & Young over two sessions) and legislation (by L. Jurga, Revenue SA).

The highlight for the day was the very readable paper by N. Wakefield (OSRQ) and D. Marks (Barrister), ‘The Commissioner’s Audit and Investigation Powers’.  The paper discussed:

  • compulsorily access powers and notice powers intra and inter State & Territory and internationally;
  • enforcement proceedings from the revenue authority and practitioner’s competing perspectives; and
  • joint and several liabilities for payroll tax groups.

The paper draws heavily on Federal taxation authorities applicable to the State & Territory legislation.

The discussion regarding restrictions on exercise of investigative powers internationally (particularly after ANZ Bank Group Ltd v Konza [2012] FCAFC 127) was very interesting, particularly in respect of the ability of the revenue authorities to use access powers and notice powers domestically to achieve similar international outcomes.

The discussion regarding prosecuting and defending enforcement proceeds included the practice around adjourning statutory demand proceedings (after ABW Design & Construction P/L v FCT QSC UR No 1926/13, 11 April 2013) and winding-up proceedings (after DCT v Bayconnection Property Developments P/L [2012] FCA 363) and applying for a stay of judgment execution (after Southgate Investment Funds Ltd v DCT [2013] FCAFC 10) pending determination of an objection and any appeals under Part IVC Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth).

The paper is a must read for advisors defending audit, investigation and enforcement activities of the State & Territory revenue authorities.