A taxpayer has been unsuccessful before the Victorian Supreme Court in a matter concerning when a notice of assessment was served on him and therefore the 60-day time limit to object to that assessment under the Taxation Administration Act 1997 (Vic).

  • On 26 September 2007, the assessment was served by post to the taxpayer at the last address known to the Commissioner.
  • The taxpayer was assessed to duty in respect of an acquisition of shares in a land rich company.
  • The amount was for some $680,000, comprising duty, penalty tax and interest.
  • By letter dated 20 February 2014, the SRO demanded payment together with further accrued interest. A copy of the assessment was enclosed with that letter.
  • The taxpayer’s solicitors, by letter dated 28 March 2014, purported to lodge with the Commissioner a notice of objection to the assessment.
  • The Commissioner subsequently also refused the taxpayer permission to lodge an objection out of time.

Before the Court, it was common ground that the assessment was validly served in September 2007. 

The Court noted the issue for determination was whether the provision of a copy of the assessment with the 20 February 2014 letter from the SRO constituted the service of a fresh assessment with the result that the taxpayer would be entitled to object to that assessment.

The Court was not of the view that the delivery of the 20 February 2014 letter enclosing a copy of the notice of assessment amounted to “service” of the notice of the assessment for the purposes of the relevant objection provisions. This meant the taxpayer, in the circumstances, was only permitted to lodge an objection within 60 days after service of the notice of assessment on 26 September 2007.

(Schachna v Comr of State Revenue [2015] VSC 7, Victorian Supreme Court, Croft J, 29 January 2015.)

[LTN 18. 29/1/15]