Decision Impact Statement
John Diab v Commissioner of Taxation
 AATA 289
Venue: AAT Sydney
Venue Reference No: 2009/4831-4834
Judge Name: Senior Member S E Frost
Judgment date: 3 May 2011
Appeals on foot: No
Decision Outcome: Partly Adverse
Administrative Treatment (Implication on current Public Rulings and Determinations)
burden of proof
Whether the taxpayer was reckless in lodging incorrect income tax returns and whether the taxpayer discharged the burden of proving that the amended assessments and penalties imposed due to his recklessness were excessive.
Brief Summary of Facts
The Applicant is a director of a company which carried on a business. He derived income in the form of salary from the company, rent from an investment property and some dividends and interest. In 2008, an audit conducted by the Commissioner resulted in amendments being made to the Applicant's assessable income for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 income tax years on the basis that the Applicant's income was significantly higher than declared originally. As a result of this, a significant shortfall penalty was issued for penalties equal to 50% for each income year in dispute.
The Applicant lodged objections against the amended assessments and the assessment of administrative penalties. All objections were disallowed, except the objection concerning the 2006 financial year which was allowed by the Commissioner in part. The Applicant then applied to the Tribunal for review of all the objection decisions.
Issues decided by the Tribunal
It was held that the Applicant did not discharge his burden of proving that the assessments are excessive as per section 14ZZK of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA)) The Applicant did not attend the hearing to give oral evidence about the circumstances of the case, nor did he make a written statement to this effect.
In relation to the administrative penalties, it was held that the taxpayer had failed to discharge his burden of proving that the administrative penalties are excessive in that his circumstances did not amount to being reckless (item 3 in the table in s 284-90(1) in Schedule 1 to the TAA). The finding of recklessness was maintained because, while a number of assertions were made by the Applicant's representative, they were not substantiated by the Applicant's evidence. Further, the Applicant did not comply with the Commissioner's request for further information in relation to various unexplained cash deposits into the Applicant's account. These cash receipts were the basis upon which the amended assessments were issued and no information was provided by the Applicant as to why these deposits were not income receipts.
Tax Office view of Decision
The decision will not result in any change to current ATO practices. The only changes made to the 2007 objection decision are those requested to be made by the Commissioner upon the receipt of further evidence to substantiate amendment by the Tribunal.
Implications on current Public Rulings & Determinations
Implications on Law Administration Practice Statements
We invite you to advise us if you feel this decision has consequences we have not identified, or if a precedential decision such as a Public Ruling or an ATO ID requires reconsideration or amendment. Please forward your comments to the contact officer by the due date.
| Date Issued:
||22 July 2011
| Due Date:
||16 September 2011
| Contact officer:
| Email address:
||(02) 9374 8303
||(02) 9374 8628
||52 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000
Taxation Administration Act 1953
284-90(1) Schedule 1