The Applicants were several companies that operated bars and nightclubs in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, and surrounding suburbs, which were owned by members of the Bickle family. The Applicants were grouped for the purposes of payroll tax. The Applicants sought a review of the Commissioner’s decision to disallow their objections in relation to assessments of penalty tax and unpaid tax interest. One of the Applicants sought a review of the Commissioner’s decision not to exclude it from the payroll group.
The Tribunal determined that the Applicants had failed to disclose joint supply of alcohol agreements, all employers in the group, a shared website, and services provided amongst the members of the group. On that basis, the Tribunal upheld the Commissioner’s decision that the Applicants failed to comply with their tax law obligations due to carelessness or recklessness and was justified in refusing to remit penalties. The Tribunal determined that the Applicants had failed to provide any evidence of circumstances, other than ignorance of the law, that caused the delay in payment of their payroll tax liability so as to justify remission.
The Tribunal refused to exclude one of the Applicants from the payroll group. This was on the basis of common ownership and control, joint supply agreements, and the nature of the businesses in the group demonstrated that the Applicant was not independent of and was connected with the businesses carried on by the other members of the group.
Florence Chen appeared for the Respondent, instructed by Sparke Helmore.
The judgment is published here.