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Recent documents in Revenue Law Journal



Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:49:48 PDT

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New Developments in Dispute Resolution in International Tax

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:11:28 PDT

In October 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued its Final Reports on all 15 areas of its Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS Action Plan), with the aim of introducing comprehensive, coherent and co-ordinated reform of the international tax rules. The OECD/Group of Twenty (G20) Final report on Making Dispute Resolution Mechanisms More Effective (Final Report on BEPS Action 14) reflects the commitment of participating countries, including Australia, to implement substantial changes in their approach to dispute resolution. This article will evaluate the implications of these reforms, particularly from an Australian perspective.




Comparing the New Zealand and Australian GAAR

Thu, 11 May 2017 15:56:11 PDT

This paper seeks to compare and contrast the Australian and New Zealand general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) and to highlight what parts of each respective GAAR work well and which parts could be improved.




Director penalty notices – promoting a culture of good corporate governance and of successful corporate rescue post insolvency

Thu, 09 Jun 2016 19:01:26 PDT

The director penalty regime under Division 269 to Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) empowers the Commissioner to take action against an insolvent company’s directors to recover outstanding tax debts of a company. The director penalty regime was introduced as a substitute for the Commissioner’s tax priority in a corporate insolvency and was aimed at encouraging directors to take early positive action to deal with insolvency. An analysis of Australia’s director penalty regime, including the most recent reforms, reveals that the regime helps to foster a culture of good corporate governance which is fundamental to achieving successful corporate rescue post insolvency.




The High Court has an opportunity to reverse the dangerous and unwise precedent set by the Federal Court in FCT v Macoun

Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:39:01 PDT

This note suggests that unless the Full Federal Court decision in FCT v Macoun [2014] FCAFC 92 is overturned by the High Court in the upcoming appeal, the literalist interpretation of domestic legislation enacting international obligations preferred by the Federal Court would set a dangerous and unwise precedent that is not only antithetical to the consistent and uniform development of international law in Australia but also to Australia’s effective participation in the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project.




Money laundering offences: Out with certainty, in with discretion?

Tue, 15 Sep 2015 00:04:05 PDT

Federal money laundering offences are contained in Division 400 of the Schedule to the Criminal Code Act 1995 (“Criminal Code”). Division 400 Criminal Code offences are drafted in very broad terms and have resulted in the criminalisation of activities which go beyond traditional notions of money laundering. On the assumption that certainty is a paramount requirement in a State aspiring to the political ideal of the rule of law, this article explores the scope of the offences in Division 400 Criminal Code especially when used in combination with Commonwealth revenue and financial reporting offences (as ‘predicate’ or ‘in prospect’ offences) by reference to some recent superior court decisions. It argues that the regime is too broad to be consistent with the requirement for certainty, and that prosecutorial discretion alone is an inadequate counter balance. Finally, it proposes amendments to the provisions.




Reform of the use of corporate tax losses: An appraisal of the options and a consideration of the next steps

Sun, 19 Jul 2015 23:23:46 PDT

The asymmetric treatment of corporate losses arguably creates impediments to risk taking, investment and innovation, which ultimately detracts from productivity growth. To deal with this situation, the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 1) Bill 2013 received royal assent on 28 June 2013 and implemented a loss carry-back system based on prior recommendations of the Business Tax Working Group however this system has since been repealed. The Business Tax Working Group originally proposed four reform options by. With the loss carry-back now implemented and subsequently repealed, it is an appropriate time to cast an eye over these other options, whilst also considering the positives and negatives of the loss carry-back option. Such option was not intended to be the end of the matter but the first step to a reform of the use of corporate tax losses.




The uses and abuses of GST reform in Australia

Tue, 19 May 2015 16:19:14 PDT




Politics and tax reform: A comparative analysis of the implementation of a broad-based consumption tax in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom

Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:54:01 PDT

The introduction of a broad-based consumption tax in the form of a value added tax (VAT) in the United Kingdom (UK) and goods and services tax (GST) in New Zealand and Australia was politically challenging at the time. This article provides the rationale for their introduction and the process of that introduction in different political contexts. It discusses whether there are lessons that can be drawn as to the political indicators that may need to be present for implementation of significant tax reform, with particular reference to GST reform in Australia.

When the history of this Parliament, this nation and this century is written, 30 June, 1999, will be recorded as a day of fundamental injustice - an injustice which is real, an injustice which is not simply conjured up by the fleeting rhetoric of politicians. It will be recorded as the day when the social compact that has governed this nation for the last 100 years was torn up.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, then in opposition, on the introduction of the GST.




Ethical conflicts and the tax practitioner

Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:53:59 PDT

When speaking of the ethics of giving tax advice, whether by a lawyer or an accountant, what often comes to mind concerns the ethics of advising clients as to ways of reducing their tax liability. This necessarily triggers a variety of views, often impacted by individual so-called ‘ethical tolerance’, rather than a concrete principle. This article instead focuses on an ethical domain for tax advisers with an ostensibly more concrete application, namely the application of conflicts of interest rules in tax practice.




The small business CGT concessions: Evidence from the perspective of the tax practitioner

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:43:52 PST

On 21 September 1999 Division 152 was inserted into the Income Tax Assessment Act (1997) (ITAA 1997). Division 152 contains the small business CGT concessions, which enables eligible small business taxpayers to reduce the amount of tax payable on capital gains arising from certain CGT events that occur after 11:45 am on 21 September 1999. One of the principal objectives of the legislation is to provide a concessionary regime for small business owners who do not have the same ability to access the concessionary superannuation regime generally available to employees.

When announcing the introduction of the concessions the then Federal Treasurer, Mr Peter Costello, specifically stated that the objective of Division 152 was to provide ‘small business people with access to funds for retirement or expansion’. The purpose of this article is to: one, assess the extent to which small business taxpayers understand the CGT small business concessions, particularly when considering the sale of their business; two, determine which of the four small business CGT concessions are most commonly adopted and/or recommended by tax practitioners to clients; and three, to determine whether the superannuation changes in relation to the capping of the concessional superannuation thresholds have had an impact on the use of the small business retirement concession.