Taxation in Australia

The Taxation in Australia Journal

Written by practitioners for practitioners Taxation in Australia® is continually ranked as Australia's leading tax journal.

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With a readership exceeding 35,000, Taxation in Australia is published 11 times per year and available exclusively to members in hard copy and online format, and now as an app on the Apple iPad and on Android tablets. This comprehensive publication features articles with a strong, practical approach to the latest tax issues and professional development. It is affectionately known as the Blue Journal.

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Articles from the current issue:

  • Oh, for the want of a ruling Add to cart

    01 Oct 2014

    The private ruling system is intended to provide certainty for taxpayers about the taxation outcomes of their transactions. It appears, however, that that hoped-for certainty can be elusive, especially where the Commissioner fails to make a ruling when requested to do so. The recent decision of a Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia in IOOF Holdings Ltd v FCT, a case about the consolidation provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, is an example in which a taxpayer, through no fault of its own, has been thwarted by the private ruling system in circumstances where the Commissioner failed (rather than declined) to make a ruling.

    This article examines the decisions in the case at each level. The author concludes that the taxpayer might justifiably question why a ruling was not issued within the ATO’s self-imposed 28-day service standard. Had that occurred, the controversy would not have arisen.

  • Judicial review of revenue settlement decisions by public interest litigants Free to Download

    01 Oct 2014

    In the law which governs standing to institute legal proceedings, a distinction is drawn between personal standing and representative standing. The latter concerns applicants who seek leave for judicial review on the basis that they represent the interests of other identifiable individuals, or that they represent the public interest. In the United Kingdom, there has been a progressive widening of the standing rules in relation to judicial review. This has been most pronounced in relation to representative groups seeking standing and has led to some interesting and novel cases in the tax arena.

    This article examines one of those cases, a representative group campaigning against tax havens and tax abuse seeking judicial review of a settlement decision entered into by the revenue authorities in the UK. The article then examines the rules of standing in Australia and poses the question: could such a case happen to the ATO?

  • Stamp duty consequences on a change in trustee – pretty simple, right? Add to cart

    01 Oct 2014

    The duty consequences of a vesting of property in a new trustee on a change of trustee in complicated corporate structures are not always clear, and the relevant exemption/concessional provisions in the duties legislation of the states and territories are certainly not drafted harmoniously. The duty can of course be a significant cost in any commercial transaction. While all of the states and territories have one or more provisions exempting or providing for concessional duty, determining whether any of the exemptions or concessions are available can be a difficult task.

    This article provides an overview of the concessional duty and exemption provisions on a vesting of property in a new trustee on the retirement of a trustee or the appointment of a new trustee of a trust. This article does not consider the stamp duty implications in respect of a change of trustee of a discretionary trust.

  • Transfer pricing and the quest for the Golden Fleece Add to cart

    01 Oct 2014

    Tax base erosion as a result of technologically-driven economic globalisation has emerged as a severe threat to national economies. The threat has given rise to the OECD’s Action plan on base erosion and profit shifting, and a new tax concept, to the effect that profits should be taxed where the “real activity” that generates them is occurring. In Australia, it is a common complaint that certain multinational corporations are shifting or otherwise transferring untaxed profits from their Australian operations to various entity structures in competitive tax regimes.

    This article examines the validity of that complaint, in the light of the phenomenon of economic globalisation and its effects on transfer pricing rules and the traditional concepts of source and residence as the criteria of taxation liability

  • Tax tips: Code of Professional Conduct: Confidentiality Add to cart

    01 Oct 2014

    Entities registered by the Tax Practitioners Board have significant obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct which is mandated by the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. The Board has recently released an information paper on the confidentiality principle in the Code and this principle is discussed in this article.

  • It’s time for certainty on the debt front Add to cart

    01 Oct 2014

    The equity override rule in s 974-80, which is part of the debt/equity rules contained in Div 974 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth), is clearly in need of reform in order to provide taxpayers and the ATO with the certainty, coherence and simplicity once promised by the debt/equity rules. Some current developments, including a review by the Board of Taxation, have given hope that that reform will be achieved. This article sets out the background of s 974-80, its uncertain purpose, scope and application (including some particular areas of uncertainty), and then provides some context to the need for reform, including consideration of the ATO’s administration of the provision.

    The article has particular regard to the section’s application to the infrastructure industry, where the uncertainty created by s 974-80 has affected listed entities and future investment structures.

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