Aspects of the administrative law relationship between the taxpayer and the Commissioner for Inland Revenue

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

There is an administrative law relationship between the taxpayer and the Commissioner for Inland Revenue, (hereinafter referred to as 'the Commissioner') The basis of this relationship is that the Commissioner is required to collect tax and the taxpayer is required to pay the tax. In exercising his powers under the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), the Commissioner has been conferred with discretionary powers. In this thesis, this administrative law relationship is examined with specific reference to the means of regulating the exercise by the Commissioner of his discretionary powers. There are a number of ways in which the discretionary powers of the Commissioner may be regulated. Generally discretion may be regulated by 'rule based administrative action' (1). This means that discretionary power is exercised subject to internal rules which state how discretionary power must be exercised. Another method of regulating the exercise of discretionary power is subsumed under the category of 'adjudicative techniques of decision' (2). The essence of the latter category is that the affected person participates in the decision which affects him. The exercise of discretionary power may be regulated furthermore if the Minister who has responsibility for the Department is required to be responsible for and account publicly for the actions of his subordinate. In this thesis, examples of rule based administrative action and adjudicative techniques of decision are examined.

Bibliography: pages 133-135.