The Commissioner of State Revenue (Qld) has been successful before the Qld District Court in seeking summary judgment against a group of 3 taxpayers to recover unpaid payroll tax, penalty tax and unpaid tax interest.

The taxpayers raised a number of arguments in disputing the proceedings and the Commissioner’s application.

  • Among other things, the taxpayers disputed the giving (or serving) of the assessment notices on a date earlier than 9 February 2015.
  • In turn, the taxpayers disputed the appropriateness of bringing the application for summary judgment when, it was argued, the 60-day limit for lodging an objection had not yet expired, and therefore, the taxpayers’ right to object to the assessments had not been exhausted.
  • The taxpayers also sought to defend the proceedings on the basis that the relevant provisions of the Payroll Tax Act 1971 (Qld), which imposed liability, were void or invalid because of s 92 of the Commonwealth Constitution.

The Qld District Court held it was appropriate to exercise its discretion under Rule 292 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) to give judgment for the Commissioner against the taxpayers. The Court was satisfied that the taxpayers had no real prospect of defending the Commissioner’s claim, and that there was no need for a trial of the claim.

(Comr of State Revenue v Gympie Noosa Broadcasters Pty Ltd & Ors [2015] QDC 074, Qld District Court, Bowskill DCJ, 17 April 2015.)

[LTN 73, 20/4/15]