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Thoughts on the contribution of the late Justice J.G. Hill to Australia’s GST

Published on 01 Jun 13 by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE

In this paper, Rebecca Millar combines her personal memories of Graham Hill with an analysis of the early Australian case law on GST. Remembering the generosity of spirit with which Justice Hill welcomed her as a newcomer to academic life in 2002, she interweaves excerpts from their email correspondence on cancelled land transactions and the basic design features of GST with an analysis of his comparative law approach to the interpretation of indirect tax law. While noting some of the pitfalls of the comparative approach, Professor Millar applauds the clarity of the judgment in HP Mercantile and highlights the extent to which the ideas expressed in that case came directly from the European Union VAT Directive, placing the Australian GST firmly within the traditions of value added tax. She then considers how Justice Hill might have decided the later case of Reliance Carpet, had he been called upon to decide it.

Author profile:

Rebecca MILLAR
Rebecca is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney. Her areas of interest include GST, Comparative VAT, and the R&D concession. As well as her academic work, Rebecca is a member of the ATO Indirect Taxes Rulings Panel and a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and Michael Johnson & Associates, a Sydney consultancy specialising in Government support for research and innovation. In her work for the IMF, Rebecca has been responsible for drafting VAT and excise tax laws for developing nations, and has also participated in IMF missions advising Governments on the VAT treatment of new residential property and financial services. Before joining the University, Rebecca worked in the GST and Transaction Taxes group at Ernst & Young from 1999 to 2002 and with Michael Johnson and Associates from 1992 to 1999.
Current at 28 August 2006
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