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Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Bloom[2017] QDC 123

Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Bloom[2017] QDC 123

[2017] QDC 123

DISTRICT COURT OF QUEENSLAND

CIVIL JURISDICTION

JUDGE RYRIE

No 4663 of 2016

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF TAXATIONPlaintiff

and

JEFFREY ROBERT BLOOMDefendant

BRISBANE

11.56 AM, FRIDAY, 7 APRIL 2017

JUDGMENT

DELIVERED EX TEMPORE

HER HONOUR: This is the Court sitting in its application jurisdiction relating to decisions I am about to now give in relation to 4663 of ’16 file, Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Bloom. Two applications were before me for the purpose of consideration; the first of those filed on behalf of the applicant defendant, Mr Bloom, document number 3, 22nd of February 2017.

That application related to Mr Bloom applying to the Court for the following orders:  (1) that the pleading disclosed within the statement of claim that had been filed on the 25th of November 2016 be struck out in the alternative; that statement of claim be stayed, set aside or dismissed; (3) an order that the plaintiff pay the defendant’s costs of this application on an indemnity basis, and any other order the Court deemed fit. As I understand it, in support of that application, two affidavits were filed by Mr Bloom; namely, the documents number 4 and 5 under his hand.

The second application before the Court is document number 7 brought on behalf of the plaintiff; namely Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Mr Bloom. In that application, which was filed on the 22nd of March 2017, the plaintiff is applying to the Court for the following orders: that judgment be entered to the plaintiff pursuant to rule 292 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules in the amount as sought, coupled with interest charged to the date of judgment, as well as any costs associated of the plaintiff incidental to the claim and of the application being sought.

The first of those applications brought by Mr Bloom came before his Honour Judge McGill on the 22nd of March 2017 for hearing. At that point, the applicant appeared for himself; namely, Mr Bloom, hereinafter referred to, and with the support of a gentlemen named Mr Bankhurst, who appeared as a friend of Mr Applicant. Leave was given to Mr Bankhurst by Judge McGill to assist Mr Bloom to speak on his behalf because Mr Bloom not only was self-represented but was somewhat ill on the day in question.

Orders were made at that point by Judge McGill, adjourning the first application to which I have referred – document number 3 – to today’s date for hearing, coupled with a further order that Judge McGill made which were, and was, to the effect that abridgement of time necessary to enable the summary judgment application to be made by the plaintiff, hereinafter referred to as the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, to be also heard and determined on today’s date. Costs were reserved in respect of any adjournment in relation to the former application by his Honour.

I shall deal, and intend to deal, with each application in turn now. The affidavits in support of the application that have been filed by Mr Bloom, documents 4 and 5, respectively, in effect, confirm what it is that Mr Bloom, with the assistance of Mr Bankhurst, reiterated again to me this morning as to why Mr Bloom feels that the statement of claim that had been filed by the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation against him on the 25th of November 2016 should be either struck out, stayed, set aside or dismissed.

It is prudent at this stage to indicate what the statement of claim is in respect of. The plaintiff’s claim, namely, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation’s claim, relates to amounts due and owing by Mr Bloom as a defendant to the Commonwealth of Australia.

The amount claimed relates to Mr Bloom’s liability for income tax assessed under default notices of assessments that were issued by the relevant taxation office for the taxation periods ending 30th of June 2002, ’03, ’04, ’05, 06, ’07, ’08 and ’09 respectively – namely, eight financial years – coupled with general interest charges calculated and up to the date of the filing of the relevant claim. A defence was filed by Mr Bloom to that statement of claim on the 22nd of February 2017 and, as such, it allows Mr Bloom to bring, in effect, an application pursuant to rule 293 under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules.

The application by Mr Bloom, or at least the basis of it, for the orders he seeks, namely, that the statement of claim be either struck out, otherwise stayed, set aside or dismissed pursuant to rule 293, can be elicited from the documents of which he has deposed, 4 and 5, as filed, coupled with the submissions that were made not only by him this morning but by leave to Mr Bankhurst who also assisted him again today.

Mr Bankhurst is not a legal representative, has no legal qualifications and, indeed, was, again, a friend of the Court and a friend, really, of Mr Bloom who was prepared to help him appear today to provide support and assistance. The affidavit material that has been filed in support of the defendant’s application really is, in effect, not dissimilar and, in fact, somewhat the same, as what was submitted before me this morning. While I do not have a transcript of those proceedings for the purpose of this decision, I do, and have made, comprehensive notes as both Mr Bloomfield and Mr Bankhurst spoke to me.

The first of what was proposed, in effect, was the conscientious mismanagement by the Australian Taxation Office of his file; that he considered that they were pursuing a debt that had never been proven;  that the claim was vexatious in that they took a heavy-handed approach to him; that was evident by them garnisheeing moneys out of his accounts, taking profits that he made subsequently in order to facilitate returning some of the moneys that they say was owing as a debt to the Taxation Office from him.

In addition, the primary points that were raised both in the documents 4 and 5 but, primarily, again, before me in my submissions, was that Mr Bloom never at any point received any notices of assessment by default from the Taxation Office, let alone any correspondence from them in respect of the relevant period of debt that they say is now due and owing for the eight financial years. He says that the first he knew about it was July 2016.

Indeed, he pointed out, not only in the documents that he has filed but, again, before me, that the notices that were being sent of assessment relating to those years went, in fact, to not his proper address because they did not have it and they were sending it to addresses that he had lived at either 24 years ago or even 15 years ago, and consequently never received any such notification from them.

In addition to that, he said that as a consequence of, therefore, not receiving those default assessments that had been issued, that he was unable to, therefore, use any mechanism available to him to object, such as, for example, that if one does not receive them then the right to object to any notice of assessment that had been made cannot be made in reality if a person such as him had not ever received any of the notices of assessments as being sent.

A further point that Mr Bloom raised for my consideration, both in his documentation as well as, again, before me with the assistance of Mr Bankhurst, as I understood it, was that during the relevant financial years he had always engaged a tax return agent to lodge his return or, at least, give him advice in respect of doing so.

He stated that, in oral submissions to me, that he had been advised that no tax liability was required and, therefore, the advice he received that there was no need upon him as a taxpayer to lodge any tax return either for the year 2002 up to and including the end of the financial year 2009, the subject of the statement of claim. He said that he went and got advice from his tax return agent, and that every year after 2002 he was told the same advice and, as a consequence, has not, and did not, put in a tax return.

In addition to that, he said that he has been unable to lodge tax returns for the relevant period even now because the seven year rule applies; that is, his understanding was that after seven years one does not have to keep relevant records and, therefore, any obligation of him to put in tax returns in respect of those relevant years is not required, in any event. He also stated to me that he has since now lodged tax returns for the period 2009 to 2016.

Mr Bloom also confirmed in oral submissions that he had always been putting in BAS statements himself during the relevant period the subject of the statement of claim between 2002 and 2009 but, nevertheless, irrespective of that fact, as I understood his submissions, he had engaged a tax return agent who had given him certain advices, namely, that he did not need to lodge a tax return at all because there was nil to be assessed insofar as any tax liability and, therefore, there was no need, he was told, for him to lodge a tax return at all.

He particularly wanted to point out to me, which is evident from documents 4 and 5, in any event, but, again, here today, that he was always acting in good faith on which his tax return agent’s advice had been relating to his obligations to lodge any tax return during the relevant financial years, 2002 to 2009.

I have had a careful reading of the relevant affidavits that were put in by Mr Bloom in support of his application and, in effect, those are the major points that I have just elicited that were made in oral submissions, and I have somewhat similarly restated in the affidavit material. In document number 5, he confirms that the first time he

was made aware of any outstanding issue relating to his tax obligations was when he was approached by phone in July 2016 by an officer of the Australian Tax Office, and that he was given certain advices during the relevant period of the financial years, and took advice from a tax agent in respect of his need, whether or not to lodge a tax return or not. At paragraph 16 and thereafter, Mr Bloom deposes to how he understood it and believed that it is more than reasonable for him to have, when he had engaged the services of a tax agent, to rely on the advice given and, as such, had done so. He also dealt with the question of whether or not he had received the notices in document number 4 as well.

If I can turn now to the applicable law. In respect of a stay, rule 16 provides that the Court may set aside an originating process, stay a proceeding or make any other order that the Court considers appropriate. Rule 293 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules also provides a mechanism for a defendant who may, at any time after the filing of a notice of intention to defend, apply to the Court under this part for judgment against the plaintiff. That is if the Court is satisfied the plaintiff has no real prospects of succeeding on all or of part of its claim and there is no need for a trial of the claim or any part of it, the Court under that rule may give judgment to a defendant against the plaintiff for all or part of the plaintiff’s claim and may make any order the Court considers appropriate.

The fundamental assertion to support, indeed, an application under either the Court wishing to make an order to strikeout or otherwise stay or set aside or dismiss is in effect that the – Mr Bloom asserts that the plaintiff has no reasonable course of action, that the statement of claim is either frivolous, vexatious or is hopeless and in those circumstances, therefore, the statement of claim ought to be dismissed or the pleadings at least struck out. Dealing with the issue as to a stay, setting aside a striking out, a stay can be ordered in certain circumstances where there is a clear want or jurisdiction. It is plain in this case that this Court has jurisdiction in tax recovery litigation.

A stay might also be appropriate in certain circumstances and, indeed, a setting aside of an originating process can be ordered where proceedings are either abuse of process, a lack of jurisdiction, an abuse where an applicant, for example, has proceeded to re-litigate an issue already decided or is seeking similar relief in two separate proceedings which would make it oppressive, there is clear authority by Justice Callinan in Conroy [2005] QSC 2006 that a Court has jurisdiction to deal with money claims.

Further, it has been helpfully summarised in Sino, or Sino, S-i-n-o, Iron Proprietary Limited v Palmer [2014] QSC 259 by Justice Jackson, the intersection of the principles affecting abuse process, a stay, striking out of the pleading and summary judgment powers. His Honour helpfully set those out in that authority which, in effect, says that the rules operate in relation to and in addition to the inherent jurisdiction, bearing in mind that Justice Jackson sits in the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the guidance provided by Justice Jackson was that Courts should always be slow to interfere by dismissal or the grant of a stay as an abuse of process in a way that might undermine the proceeding for summary judgment and, as such, even in the first place under rule 293, a defendant is required to file a notice of intention to defend, attaching a Defence before it is entitled to apply for summary judgment. That factor is relevant here because that has been done by Mr Bloom.

However, nevertheless, the standard which is then to be applied if that prerequisite step is taken, is that the Court must be satisfied the plaintiff has no real prospect of succeeding on all or part of the plaintiff’s claim. Accordingly, and I am dealing with each, I am not satisfied there is any bases here to strike out, set aside or permanently stay the proceedings. I am satisfied that there is sufficient grounds, at least prima facie, on the material available to me that I have had regard that each and every matter of fact is available to support that there is – that the plaintiff does have a real prospect of, in fact, succeeding as opposed to having no real prospect of success at all.

That is so because of the following. The notices of assessment in respect of the defendant Mr Bloom’s assessed income liabilities, which were carried out in respect of the eight financial years, are conclusive evidence of the fact that those amounts are owing. Those assessments cannot be disputed in these proceedings and they certainly, therefore – at least primarily defeat the proposition made that there is no real or reasonable prospect, at least, for the defendant being successful in proving that the summary judgment – summary – sorry, statement of claim as it stands has no real prospects as asserted, in respect of either all or even part of the plaintiff’s claim.

In dealing with this application, it is necessary to review the statement of claim. The statement of claim, as I have indicated already, has arisen as a consequence of income tax that – of Mr Bloom’s liability for income tax having been assessed under default notices of assessments for the relevant financial years, together with the associated GIC. The – those default assessments are notices of assessments in the proceedings that were issued under the hand of the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation and were served on the defendant. They amounted to, in effect, from the year – relevant years 2002 to 2009, total assessed income tax payable of $176,495.40. GIC may accrue on the unpaid income tax as assessed under the relevant sections of the Act in respect of the relevant dates.

The affidavit of Vanessa Sangasri, affirmed on the 21st of March 2017, document 6, exhibits a copy of the notices of assessments that were issued to the defendant totalling the said amount already referred to; deposed to the fact that the total amount due under the defendant’s income tax account was $989,116.64; also deposes to the fact that certain credits had been applied in reduction of any unpaid income tax liability. The outstanding debt as at the 7th of April 2017, provided by evidentiary certificate which is prima facie evidence of the defendant’s relevant unpaid tax liability as at that date, is in the sum of $639,780.59.

The following comments need to be said. That the notices of assessments that have been issued are conclusive, as I have already indicated, of the amounts that have been calculated. The second point that needs to be said is that any entity which is engaged in business must register for GST under the BAS system and its owner, namely, in this case Mr Bloom, must also lodge an income tax return. That responsibility is on every taxpayer, to become and be familiar with their individual taxation obligations and to lodge timely returns as and when due without prompting by the Australian Taxation Office;  in other words, put another way, the fundamental obligation always remains with every taxpayer, irrespective of whether or not they engaged a tax agent or not.

As already indicated, the notices of assessments that were the subject of these proceedings were issued by the Commissioner of – Deputy Commissioner of Taxation on a default basis. There is a conclusive evidence provision relevant in respect of and the result being that the amounts of all the particulars of the notices of assessments are deemed to be correct. The only exception is whether there are allegations of conscious maladministration, which is and appears to be some assertion that has been made here by Mr Bloom, but not supported in any effect by any real evidence.

The fact remains the same, that if a taxpayer disputes assessments that have been made, then a formal objection and proceed under part IVC of the Taxation Assessment Act – Administration Act 1953 allows for the determination and objection in respect of that before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or Federal Court;  however, even the implementation in respect of any such objection, of which there is not any that were undertaken by the – Mr Bloom, is irrelevant insofar as the Deputy Commissioner’s entitlement to still obtain of judgment in the proceedings.

The argument as to why no objection was put in or appealed to the relevant bodies, which is not this Court, relating to any notice of assessments that have been issued by Mr Bloom, was in effect that one cannot object to a notice of assessment that has been made or appeal a decision of that nature if the notices were not received by him. This is a primary contention that Mr Bloom made. I shall now turn to deal with that point.

Regulation 12 of the Tax Administration Regulation establishes for taxpayers what is called a preferred address. A preferred address for service is set out in section 12A, which requires that a preferred address for service of a person is one of the following kind:  it can be physical, postal, electronic and the like. A preferred address, it is significant, can only be changed or withdrawn by the taxpayer giving notice to the Commissioner under the Regulation. It cannot be withdrawn or changed or varied simply by the Commissioner of Taxation itself.

Regulation 12B requires that a preferred address can only be changed or withdrawn by a taxpayer giving notice to the Commissioner under a Regulation. Regulation 12B is relevant here insofar as there was and has been a failure by Mr Bloom to do as required, namely, that his preferred address for service was, according to him, and has been for a very long time, no longer effective; however, no notice – and I am satisfied no notice was given – was given by him formally, as required under the regulations, to change or withdraw the address as required. Significantly, regulation 12E states:

A person whose preferred address for service is no longer effective, and who has not changed or withdrawn the address under regulation 12B, may not plead that fact that the address was not effective as a defence in any proceedings (whether civil or criminal) instituted against the person under the taxation law.

In this case, it is tolerably clear that Mr Bloom failed to do what was required, insofar as that, in fact, his preferred address was not changed, or varied, or notified to the relevant taxation office;  that they were entitled to send to the addresses which they had. Put another way, the fact that the defendant no longer lived at a particular address at the time of service is irrelevant, as it was incumbent upon Mr Bloom to keep his preferred address or addresses updated. Indeed, had Mr Bloom lodged returns year by year, as was required unless excused by the taxation office for not being required to do so, then his preferred address would have remained up to date. As such, I agree with the submission that is made by the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation that the plaintiff was entitled, and is entitled, to the benefit of regulation 12E.

Some of the assertions that were made by Mr Bloom, both in his affidavit material as well as the claim being vexatious heavy-handed approach by, or a conscientious management by, the ATO of his file, are matters strictly that are not matters that should or could be dealt with by me. Provision for remedy in that respect, if the assertion is said to have been true, is to, as I have already indicated, other bodies other than this Court.

The fact remains the same that on review of the material in support of the – filed in support of the statement of claim, which, in effect, was deposed to for the purpose of the summary judgment application, number 2 application, to which I will turn shortly, does not satisfy me that it has been shown by the defendant, even under rule 293, that the standard is satisfied, namely, that the plaintiff has no real prospect of succeeding on all or part of the plaintiff’s claim. To the contrary, I find that the Australian Taxation Office is entitled to the relevant moneys being sought.

Just so that it is clear, the notices of assessment by default being issued are conclusive of a debt being owed. There is a primary obligation, always, on the taxpayer to lodge a tax return unless excused or otherwise by the Taxation Office. No such excuse was given or provided here by the – excusal by the relevant Taxation Office. The primary obligation placed upon a taxpayer to lodge a tax return unless excused is – cannot be delegated by the taxpayer to the agent. In this regard, the advices which were received, rightly or wrongly, from the relevant tax agent to Mr Bloom for each year, while I am sympathetic that he believed he could act upon that advice, nevertheless, does not change the position here.

For my purposes, the preferred address, any failure in respect of its change etc, in my mind, fell to Mr Bloom to – and the onus is, in fact, on him to change any address in that regard. As such, I consider that his assertion that he did not receive any of the notices was, unfortunately, as a consequence of his own failure to provide the appropriate preferred address.

His failure, also, to keep his documentation, which does not allow him now to lodge tax returns in respect of the eight relevant financial year periods, is of no consequence; it indicates a misunderstanding of the seven-year rule, which is that no one is obliged, as a taxpayer, to retain their tax documentation for any financial year if, and only if, they have, in fact, lodged one for the relevant financial year. In this case, none were lodged for any of the financial years.

As I have also said, a right of objection arises in relation to any notices of assessment that are issued, which is not – and this Court has no power to also conduct any such review in respect of that. Any conscientious mismanagement that – or allegation of heavy-handedness and the like, or intimidation, is also a matter that needs to be determined elsewhere by Mr Bloom, and cannot be dealt with here.

Accordingly, for those reasons alone, I consider that, even though I accept what has been said by Mr Bankhurst, and, indeed, by Mr Bloom, who found the proceedings before me, not surprisingly, very distressing for him, that once, Mr Bloom, says he was advised of his tax liability and failure to put in appropriate returns, that he has done everything to try and resolve it, by keeping communications open with the Taxation Office and the like.

While that may be so, and I am sympathetic to Mr Bloom, to have been placed now into the position that he is, which, as he put it to me, will have dire consequences, financially, upon him, nevertheless, sadly, the fact remains the same. And I am of the view, therefore, for the reasons stated, that application number 1, which is the defendant’s application, Mr Bloom’s, should be dismissed.

Turning, then, to application number 2, which is a summary judgment application under rule 292. The principle, as it relates to the right of the party to obtain summary judgment, is set out, helpfully, in the decision of Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Salcedo [2005] QCA 227. The test, as pointed out at paragraph 17 of that decision, simply states that the words found in the rule should apply. It was also clear that:

Summary judgment will not be obtained as a matter of course and the judge determining, always, such an application is essentially called upon to determine whether the respondent to the application has established some real prospect of succeeding at a trial; if that is established then the matter must go to trial.

In effect, the rule provides, and the Court must consider only if it is satisfied that the defendant has no real prospects of successfully defending all or part of the plaintiff’s claim, and there is no need for a trial of the claim or part of the claim. Only then, in those circumstances, satisfied of those particular circumstances, should judgment be given, in the exercise of discretion by this Court, in favour of the plaintiff, and make other orders that it considers appropriate. As I have already stated already, in relation to the first application that I have just given reason for decision, a similar criteria applies to a similar application by a defendant, pursuant to rule 293.

According, then, bearing those in mind, I turn now, again, to the application before the Court in this regard. The plaintiff is seeking summary judgment. In order to succeed, I have already set out the test, as stated by Salcedo. The plaintiff’s claim, as I have said, arises as a result of the tax – defendant’s liability for income tax that was assessed on the default notices of assessments for financial years, coupled with the associated GIC calculated.

It is well accepted, as I have already stated in respect of the former application, that the Commissioner is entitled to rely upon assessments issued under the hand of the Deputy Commissioner as conclusive evidence in recovery proceedings:  section 350-10 of the TAA 1953 Act. Defendant’s outstanding tax liabilities for the financial years, namely, 2002 to 2009, arose, as I have already indicated, pursuant to default assessments that have been made by the Commissioner, and they were issued under the hand, and gave rise to a certain amount. As a consequence of any unpaid income tax liability, then GIC may accrue.

The affidavit recently filed by leave, 7th of April 2017, under the hand of Vanessa Sangassri, sets out the amounts, and attaches to it an evidentiary certificate, which is, prima facie, evidence of the defendant’s relevant unpaid tax liability.

In the defence that was filed, the defendant admitted, relevantly, that he was assessed to pay income tax for the years 2002 to 2009. He also admits the statutory personality of the plaintiff. He denies, as I have indicated, that he had not been served with any of the relevant tax notices or assessments, but they were likely to have been sent to an address elsewhere that was not relevant to where he was currently living, but he had attempted to make contact with the ATO in respect of the matters raised as a tax liability as soon as he, immediately, received notice from them in July 2016, and ultimately says that one of the Office’s claimed assessments of his liability, of $9000, is the appropriate one.

No material was filed or served in response or opposition to the plaintiff’s summary judgment, but I have taken into account, nevertheless, the two affidavits that were in support of the first application to which I have just dealt with, as matters that were being agitated there for the purpose of consideration as matters of reply to be agitated here in respect of the plaintiff’s application, the second application, I am now dealing with.

Without repeating or rehashing what I have already set out, I am not convinced that Mr Bloom’s position, namely, raised in his defence or in his material, that he did not receive any of the notices because he was no longer living at those addresses is of any consequence. As I have already indicated, the regulations under the Taxation Administration Regulations 1976 establishes what is preferred addresses, and relevant matters that arise there, to which I have already spoken about, and do not wish to repeat again.

The plaintiff was entitled to act under the relevant regulation, serve the necessary notices of assessment at the preferred address as was noted to them. The fact that the defendant no longer lived at certain addresses at the time of service is, in my mind, of no consequence, because it was due to his own failure to keep his preferred addresses updated. Thus this point:  it is of no assistance to Mr Bloom in defending this claim – this application.

The conclusive nature, of course, as well, of an obligation to lodge tax returns is not overcome simply, as stated here, by Mr Bloom relying, rightly or wrongly, on advice that he’d received in relation to the lodgement of those returns. As I have already indicated and will say again for the purpose of this application, such primary obligation placed upon a tax payer to lodge a tax return, unless excused from the taxation office, cannot be delegated by a tax payer ever to a taxation agent. And the obligation remains on the tax payer to do so. The onus, of course, to change one’s address on the preferred address of which the taxation office has is also a primary obligation placed upon the tax payer. One of which, sadly, Mr Bloom failed to do. While I am sympathetic with Mr Bloom that he may well have been acting in good faith, as he says, on what he believed was advice that he was receiving from his tax return agent, that nevertheless is beside the point for the purpose of my determination as to whether or not the Salcedo principles are made out here.

In my mind, the application, material in support filed by the plaintiff, establishes each and every matter of fact necessary to prove its case. It’s entitlement to judgment under rule 292, the notice of assessments, in respect of the assessed income tax liabilities, are conclusive evidence of the fact those amounts are owing. They can’t be disputed in these proceedings, and as such, it follows there is no real, reasonable prospect of the defendant succeeding at trial in respect of the current state of the claim. In all the circumstances, bearing in mind that one should be circumspect in, or ever ordering summary judgment against a party, I consider in this case that it is, sadly, the only appropriate course that should be taken here. That is, that summary judgment should be entered against the defendant in favour of the plaintiff.

The plaintiff seeks judgment in the amount of $639,780 – 638,000, sorry, $780.59, and the plaintiff also seeks an order for costs in terms of filing fees and outlays endorsed on the statement of claim, namely, $1675. Taking into account the suggestion, also by Mr Bloom, helpfully assisted by Mr Bankhurst, that primarily, the main submissions that I understood that applied to his application needfully applied to the summary judgment application, namely, that he didn’t receive any of the notices because they didn’t go to his address, because he hadn’t lived at some of those addresses for a long time. That, in any event, he didn’t and wouldn’t have – didn’t send in tax returns for the relevant years because of the advice that he’d received from the tax return agent, and that he thought and considered that there was conscientious mismanagement, intimidation, and a heavy-handedness by the ATO in any event. And such, it made it oppressive to him, in that their pursuing, as he puts it, the debt that’s never been proven, searched properly or otherwise.

For the reasons already stated, I do not consider it appropriate to allow this matter to continue. I don’t consider that there is any need for a trial. While I appreciate Mr Bloom has done his very best to try and, as he puts it, make by way of communication with the tax office to resolve the matter, and it has caused him enormous pressure and mental distress as a consequence. Nevertheless, the fact remains the same. The moneys are outstanding and need to be paid.

I have had regard to the affidavit of debt, and the relevant certificate, and accordingly I grant the application for summary judgment in favour of the plaintiff. Therefore, judgment will be entered against the defendant in favour of the plaintiff, in the amount of $639,780.59. I consider it appropriate to also make a cost order, fixed in the sum of $1675 in favour of the plaintiff, that is, the defendant to pay that fixed cost, in that amount, to the plaintiff.

Those will be the reasons for the decision. I will wait until I receive the transcript, and then ultimately, those reasons in respect of both applications, provided together by me, for means of convenience, because I heard the applications together, will be provided to the parties in due course. That is the end of the reasons for the decision. Close the court, thank you.

______________________

Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Bloom

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Bloom

  • MNC:

    [2017] QDC 123

  • Court:

    QDC

  • Judge(s):

    Ryrie DCJ

  • Date:

    07 Apr 2017

Appeal Status

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