VIEW CASE

Since Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Broadbeach Properties Pty Ltd (2008) 237 CLR 473, taxpayers have faced immense difficulties in challenging statutory demands issued by the Commissioner.  CPG Group Pty Ltd v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2019] VSC 146 provides a further illustration, if one was needed, of those difficulties.  The general effect of Broadbeach, which overturned a strongly worded judgment of Keane JA, is that a taxpayer may not point to a challenge to an assessment as constituting a genuine dispute warranting the setting aside of a statutory demand associated with that assessment.  This severely curtails a taxpayer’s ability to challenge such a demand, and absent an arguable basis that the Commissioner has acted unlawfully or in bad faith, a taxpayer’s options are limited.  In CPG, there was no such arguable basis, and although a number of factual matters were raised and legal submissions made in support of the demand being set aside, it was ultimately to no avail.