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State Courts jurisdiction in Federal income tax matters

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Evans v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2012] NSWCA 396

Gzell J

103 In the absence of assistance from Ms Sreedharan, Williams DCJ was left to grapple with the affidavits of Mr Evans. Of this task his Honour said:

"39 Regrettably Mr Evans written evidence by way of affidavit and his oral submissions based substantially on the affidavit material are extremely difficult to follow logically apart from the general tenor of much of what he submits which relates to dissatisfaction with the way he was treated at different times by the ATO. However despite his complaints about that behaviour and the perceived unfairness of his treatment, Mr Evans has not pursued any statutory right of objection or appeal. 
40 In effect he now wishes to raise all these matters as grounds of defence to the debt incurred and have this court negate the past decisions of the ATO." 

104 With respect to Mr Evans' claim in relation to the ATO's disallowance of input tax credits and its consequent revision upwards of the BAS RBA net amount and with respect to Mr Evans' claims on deregistration for GST, his Honour was quite correct. Mr Evans had statutory rights of review or appeal under the exclusive code in Part IVC of the Administration Act. These matters could not be raised as defences in the proceedings before him. 

105 But as to the balance of Mr Evans' complaints going to the quantum of the BAS RBA deficit debt, these were matters of defence. They could not be raised in the AAT or the Federal Court. 

106 Section 8AAZI and s 8AAZJ of the Administration Act presuppose that there will be litigation in relation to amounts in an RBA and as to an RBA deficit debt. These are matters for state or territory courts.

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