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Characterising receipts and outgoings convention paper


The recent decision in Transurban City Link Ltd v C of T reinforces the fact that in order to determine whether a receipt or outgoing is of a revenue or capital nature you need to understand the true underlying character of the outgoing or receipt.

This paper explores the approach you need to take to ensure that you have correctly characterised a receipt or outgoing:
- can you assume that the label by which an item is referred to in a contract reflects its true character?
- interpreting contracts
- when are extraneous materials relevant?
- what do you do when the parties to the contract have a different understanding as to the character of outgoing or receipt?
- what do you do when third parties such as merchant bankers or the ATO have a different understanding as to the character of the outgoing or receipt?

Author profile

Jennifer Batrouney AM QC
Jennifer is a silk at the Victorian Bar practising in taxation, commercial, administrative, equity, superannuation and charity law. She was appointed a QC in 2000. She is sought after for her clear and concise advice to taxpayers on State tax matters throughout Australia. She sits on the Supreme Court of Victoria Tax List Users Group and regularly appears in State tax litigation cases. Jennifer is a past President of the Australian Bar Association, the Victorian Bar, the Tax Bar Association and Australian Women Lawyers. She has been a member of the Law Council Tax Committee since 1991 and a member of the ATO Public Advice and Guidance Panel since 2016. She was elected to the Victorian Legal Services Board in 2018 and sits on the Victorian Legal Admissions Board committee. She Chairs the Law Council of Australia Charity Law Committee and is a director of the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand. She sits on the Melbourne Law School Advisory Council and Tax Masters Advisory Board. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School teaching tax and charity law in the Melbourne Law Masters. Jennifer was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2020 for significant service to the law, the legal profession and women lawyers. - Current at 09 March 2021
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