The Federal Court has dismissed a taxpayer’s application to re-open a hearing (for which judgment has been reserved) to take further submissions of the operation of s175 of the ITAA 1936 in relation to the dispute.

In doing so, the Court acknowledged that while it had full power to rehear or review a case until judgment is passed and entered, nevertheless it said that this power should only be in very exceptional circumstances – especially in relation to an application to make further submissions (as in this case), as opposed to an application to adduce further or new evidence.

In arriving at its decision, the Court emphasised that in relation to the issue of “procedural fairness”, a party to a proceeding is given that opportunity to fully present its case at the hearing and that, in this case, the taxpayer’s failure to advance the submissions now sought to be made was “solely contributable to the fault of Counsel for the applicant”. As a result, the Court concluded that the taxpayer would not be denied procedural fairness in refusing the application.

In any event the Court indicated that the further submissions sought to be made on the effect of s 175 had been advanced at dealt with in the hearing.

(Featherby v FCT [2016] FCA 454, Federal Court, Gilmour J, 3 May 2016.)

[LTN 84, 4/5/16]