Smit Property Investment Trust Liability of Trustees

rodney charles johnson made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Taxation Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Australian Taxation Office.

rodney charles johnson

Dear Australian Taxation Office,
Please provide me with a copy of the following documents:
A.All documents,notices of liability,trust deed,computer system records,correspondence and/or requests for investigation by/with Operation Pirahna re Jacob Smit,The Smit Property Investment Trust for the financial year ended 30/06/2006,relating to the issuing of Notices of assessment on myself and R C Johnson p/l for that year,including a copy of all correspondence with my former account Cargill and associates for the period 30/06/17 - 31/12/16

yours faithfully

Rodney Charles Johnson

FOI, Australian Taxation Office

Dear Applicant,
The ATO is unable to provide you with personal information via this
website.  Please resend your request to [1][ATO request email]  
FOI Team

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

In a recent OAIC decision the ATO was told they needed to respond to requests made via this site.

It’s disappointing to see the ATO not following the recommendations of the OAIC.

Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

This is maybe another example of the refusal from the ATO to process Freedom of Information requests from Right to Know, but I think that it is actually something different. I hope it is!

I think that the ATO is saying (i) the applicant has asked for personal information about himself, (ii) the applicant has asked for personal information (because a body corporate is a legal person) about a body corportate that is named like the applicant but also with "P/L", (iii) the applicant is entitled to receive the personal information BUT because of ii and because the information would be published on Right to Know, they will not send the information to Right to Know.

I am not certain that my belief is correct but it looks to me this way. Of course, if an administrator hides the request so that no other person can see it, and the applicant sends his personal home address to the ATO and asks for the information to be delivered by postal service to that address, then he, and an administrator, will see whether the refusal from the ATO is a refusal to process a request from Right to Know, or a refusal to send personal information back to Right to Know.

Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I forgot to put something important (evidence!) in the annotation that I have made a few minutes ago.

A person can find the evidence that the Australian Taxation Office is now processing requests (maybe not all requests, I don't know) from Right to Know in these responses:

These responses are mostly for the purpose to say that the ATO has received the request and is processing it. Previously the said only that they would not process any request from Right to Know. There has not been enough time yet to see the results of the processing, and to see whether the decision process has returned to normal (lawful!). However, in my opinion, it is progress.

Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I think that I owe Mr Fairless an apology. If not an apology then at least an acknowledgement that his annotation ( ) appears to be mostly correct. The ATO have been behaving very badly. The last email from the ATO was a refusal to deliver the information in a particular way. It is therefore, by definition, an access refusal decision under the Act (even if the ATO has said it can deliver the information by another method). Section 53A of the Act defines an access refusal decision. Here is the definition "An access refusal decision is any of the following decisions: (a) a decision refusing to give access to a document in accordance with a request; ...". By this means we see that even if the ATO says that they can given the applicant access with some other method, the decision is still a refusal to give the applicant access "in accordance with [the] request". The Act imposes obligations on the ATO when it makes an access refusal decision. The ATO has not fulfilled those obligations.

Mark R. Diamond left an annotation ()

Why is it that no one has complained about the behavior of the ATO. Having refused for 9 months to process requests filed through Right to Know, they now purport to comply with the law but do not do so. The requirement of s 15(2)(c) of the Act is that a request under FOI "... give details of how notices under this Act may be sent to the applicant (for example, by providing an electronic address to which notices may be sent by electronic communication)". But the ATO doesn't appaer to be doing that, no doubt so as to avoid the possibility that anyone might comment about such notices. Instead, they do not send the notices required by the Act to the applicant. Instead, they send a "meta-notice" (i.e., a notice about where you might find a notice) to the applicant. A complaint (in fact multiple complaints) to the Information Commissioner are warranted.