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


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

Prof Rebecca Millar
Rebecca is a Professor at the University of Sydney Law School. Professor Millar is an academic member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) advising Working Party 9 of the OECD’s Committee of Fiscal Affairs (CFA) on the development of international guidelines for GST and VAT cross-border services rules. She also works with the IMF and the World Bank, drafting VAT and excise tax laws and providing other technical assistance to developing countries. From 2002 to 2007, she was a member of the Australian Taxation Office GST Rulings Panel (later the Indirect Tax Rulings Panel) and in 2008, she was a member of the expert panel appointed by the Board of Taxation for its Review of the legal framework for the administration of the GST. - Current at 01 October 2009
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