The Hardship Discretion - Building Bridges with the Community

Atax, UNSW
Publication Type:
Journal Article
eJournal of Tax Research, 2010, Dec 2010, 8 (2), pp. 162 - 174
Issue Date:
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and scope of the Commissioners discretion to provide relief to taxpayers in circumstances of hardship. The paper initially examines the considerations which go towards establishing hardship, being the threshold test for the exercise of the Commissioners discretion to grant relief. Given the broad nature of the discretion, the paper reviews the principles which traditionally surround the exercise of such discretionary powers, focusing on those matters which would be considered in determining whether or not to exercise the discretion in a particular case. The paper finally considers how the scope of the discretion fits within the broad administration of the tax system. As part of this discussion, consideration is given as to the potential impact the exercise of the discretion may have on taxpayer attitudes to compliance.
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