Accessibility of Records for Tax Department

– section 53 of the Taxation Administration Act 1997

Accessibility of Records for Tax Department is used where a person is required to keep certain records that can be easily produced for the Tax Commissioner, and the person fails to do so.

  • You destroy your records of minor tax related matters from 3 years ago. The Tax Commissioner conducts an audit and you cannot produce the destroyed records.
  • You have your records in a shed in boxes. You refuse to produce them when asked by the Tax Commissioner.

  • You were not required to keep a record.
  • You did keep a record, and the record can be easily produced for the Tax Commissioner.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • How do they prove you had to keep a record?
  • If you kept a record, how do they prove it could not be easily produced?
  • If your record was lost or destroyed, did you take reasonable precautions to prevent losing the record, and was it impossible to get a substitute record?

Maximum penalty and court that deals with Accessibility of Records for Tax Department
The maximum penalty for this offence is 200 penalty units ($31,092) in the case of a body corporate and 40 penalty units ($6,218.40) in any other case.

This is a sort of charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
The section that covers this offence is section 53 of the Taxation Administration Act 1997.

What is the legal definition of Accessibility of Records for Tax Department?
When a person or corporation was required to keep a record but they did not keep the record in a way that was easily accessible to the Tax Commissioner.

“Were you obliged to keep the records?”

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
Your first offence for this charge will likely be a moderate fine.