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Risk as a measure in taxing financial arrangements

Published on 01 Dec 11 by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE

Recent reform of the Australian laws for taxing financial instruments are expressed in terms of risk for the purpose of identifying the relevant taxpayer or characterising a financial arrangement, rather than using the traditional drafting terms of legal ownership by a taxpayer or legal form of the financial arrangements. Generally, this change in the way that the laws are expressed is for either efficiency reasons, as in the case of Div. 250, or for integrity reasons, as in the case of the debt/equity rules and the TOFA rules.

This paper reviews several of the changes to the way that the Australian legislation for taxing financial instruments is drafted where, previously, legal concepts for identifying the taxpayer were used and legal form was used for characterising a financial instrument, to the use of risk for both those purposes. It argues that risk is a better measure of who the taxpayer is and what the financial instrument is because that is consistent with the way that commerce operates.

Author profiles:

Dr
Alfred Tran
CTA
Alfred works at the Research School of Accounting, The Australian National University.
Current at 01 April 2016 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Alfred TRAN.
 
Gordon Mackenzie
CTA
Gordon Mackenzie BSc LLB, LLM, Grad Dip Securities Analysis, CTA, F Fin, CA. Gordon is the convenor of the Master of Tax (Tax and Financial Planning) in the Tax School at UNSW, as well as teaching three superannuation regulation and tax subjects into the Master of Financial Planning run by the Banking and Finance School. He is also Director of the UNSW SMSF Specialisation for CA ANZ and CPA Australia, which has completed 600 candidates in 4 years. Before becoming an academic he was Global Tax Director at AMP Ltd and before that was their Technical Services Director with a staff of 30 professionals Australia wide servicing 3000+ advisers. As a lawyer for AMP Ltd he was responsible for the licensing of some of their licensed subsidiaries such as Hillross ltd
Current at 24 May 2016 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Gordon MACKENZIE.
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