In a GST case: Singh v CofT, the taxpayer has been unsuccessful in claiming input tax credits because of inadequate documentation. The Tribunal made its decision on 15 June 2021 (but the decision was not posted on AustLii until 7 July 2021).

See below for further detail.

[Tax Month – July 2021]


The taxpayer was in the freight transport business and had claimed ITCs totalling some $206,509, in the period from 2014 to 2017. The AAT had little difficulty agreeing with the ATO’s objection decision to disallow the claim:

  • the taxpayer had no reliable system of record-keeping (or even a basic system of record-keeping);
  • virtually no invoices had been retained;
  • the invoices that were presented in evidence simply listed hours that had been worked and a total amount payable, ie with the GST amount not specified, no ABNs, no indication of the services provided etc.

Clearly, the invoices did not satisfy the requirements in s 29-70 of the GST Act.

As the AAT concluded that the taxpayer had failed to exercise reasonable care, the penalties imposed by the ATO for recklessness were upheld.


TAXATION – A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 ‑– road transport business – ITCs claimed – no supporting invoices or alternatively inadequate invoices – ITCs properly disallowed in these circumstances – business set up from the outset with no adequate record-keeping system – accountant making claims on the basis of inadequate documentation furnished to him – recklessness shown on the evidence before the Tribunal – penalties properly imposed

(Singh v CofT [2021] AATA 2125, AAT, Dr N A Man SM, 15 June 2021.)


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