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Tax issues in property investment paper


Property transactions usually cause the greatest headaches for property investors and their advisors. Even the simplest act of subdividing land, building and selling residential premises, can give rise to different taxation outcomes depending on the circumstances. This paper examines some of the common tax issues that property investors can sometimes overlook, including:

  • when does a disposal of property give rise to a capital gain?
  • when does a property investor ‘cross the line' to property developer?
  • what are the key indicators that differentiate between passive investment and active development?
  • what differentiates a repair as opposed to an improvement, and why does it matter?
  • when is the joint ownership of land a tax law partnership?
  • when are expenses for the holiday home deductible?

Author profile

Arthur Athanasiou CTA
Photo of author, Arthur ATHANASIOU Arthur, a Partner at Thomson Geer Lawyers, has many years experience in complex tax litigation and tax audit negotiations and settlements. Arthur’s main area of practice is taxation advisory, with an emphasis on dispute resolution, particularly in the SME sector, with both the ATO and the SRO. He also has broad experience in the taxation of trusts and SME entities, with an emphasis on Div 7A and high-wealth individuals and family groups. Arthur has extensive experience in all areas of direct and indirect taxation and has qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He has also held senior taxation and management positions in the transport and motor vehicle industries, with specialist experience in logistics, supply chain, chain of responsibility and contract warehousing. Arthur is the President of The Tax Institute as well as a State Councillor, and also chairs the Law Institute’s Tax Law Advisory Committee. Arthur is an Accredited Tax Law Specialist and a widely published writer on taxation issues. He regularly appears in the mainstream media, and presents at tax seminars and discussion groups. Arthur has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide 2015 as a recommended tax lawyer in Victoria. - Current at 12 April 2017
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This was presented at 2009 Tasmanian State Convention .

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