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Proposals for the reform of the taxation of goodwill in Australia paper

Published on 01 Jan 09 by Australian Tax Research Foundation

This study analyses Australian taxation law as it applies to goodwill. The analysis includes the state tax termed duty (still colloquially referred to as “stamp duty”); Goods and Services Tax (GST); taxation of capital gains (termed “CGT” although not a separate tax in Australia); income tax; and international tax rules. The purpose of the study is to identify the key features of goodwill and the areas in which the Australian approach to taxing goodwill could be reformed. The concluding chapters of the book suggest reforms that would improve the manner in which goodwill is recognised and dealt with in Australian taxation law. The study demonstrates that the current approach is inconsistent, encourages distortion and tax avoidance, and that the different taxes have conflicting effects on business dealings and investment in goodwill. The author’s thesis is that these defects lack justification and that aspects of these defects can be corrected by a clearer definition of goodwill and a more coherent alignment of the taxes affecting goodwill.

Author profile

Prof Michael Walpole CTA
Photo of author, Michael WALPOLE

Professor Michael Walpole is the Associate Head of School (Research) at the School of Taxation and Business Law (including Atax) in the Australian School of Business.

Michael has a PhD in Taxation Law from the Faculty of Law UNSW. Prior to academic life, Michael worked as a Tax Consultant with Ernst & Young, and prior to that he was in private practice as a legal practitioner. As a partner in a small firm, Michael's legal practice was extremely varied. As an academic he has been awarded the Hill Medal by the Australasian Tax Teachers Association (ATTA) for his contribution to tax teaching and is a past President of ATTA.

Michael has authored and co-authored several books including Proposals for the Reform of the Taxation of Goodwill, Understanding Taxation Law and Compliance Cost Control. Michael has also written and presented many papers on his research topics to practitioner and academic audiences in Australia and overseas. He is co-editor of the Australian Tax Review and he is also author and co-author of a number of articles on GST, taxation of intellectual property, tax administration and taxation compliance costs, especially psychological costs of taxation compliance.

Michael is an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Business Tax in the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

- Current at 27 April 2017
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