Opinion Number. 47

Subject

COMMONWEALTH OFFICER WHETHER STATE OFFICER HAS POWER TO MAKE REQUISITION TO : DEMAND BY SOUTH AUSTRALIAN COMMISSIONER OF TAXES FOR RETURN BY COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

Author
Key Legislation

TAXATION ACT 1884 (S.A.)

Date
Client
The Minister for Home Affairs

The Deputy Commissioner of Taxes, South Australia, has forwarded to the Collector of Customs, Port Adelaide, a notice requiring him, in pursuance of the Taxation Act 1884 and the amendments thereof, and the regulations thereunder, to make a return of all persons employed by him or under his control during 1901, whose salary or wages amounted to £200, under a penalty not exceeding £20 on neglect to do so.

Apart altogether from the question whether income tax is payable by Federal officers in respect of their salaries, I am of opinion that no person can be empowered by a State Act to issue orders to a Federal officer as such and that a State Act cannot impose penalties for the refusal of a Federal officer to obey its requisitions.

Whether it is decided, as a matter of policy, to supply the information or not, I would suggest to the Minister for Home Affairs that as an important principle in connection with the control of the Public Service is involved, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxes should be informed that the authority of a State officer to make such requisitions to a Commonwealth officer cannot be recognized; but that any request made to the Minister to supply such information as a matter of courtesy will receive consideration.

[Vol. 1, p. 332]