The ATO's view of the decision is as follows:
"The Commissioner announced on 22 February 2007 that he would not be seeking special leave to appeal from the decision of the Full Court and that the ATO will be reviewing the FBT assessments associated with outstanding employee benefit arrangement cases that are affected by the decision of the Full Court.
The ATO accepts that it would have been better if the issue could have been brought before the Full Court more promptly. However, the ATO was unaware that it could have sought a declaration from the court rather than relying on the usual appeal processes in Part IVC of the Tax Administration Act.
In view of the Court's comments the ATO is now seeking advice from the Solicitor-General and the Australian Government Solicitor on what avenues are available for using the declaratory powers of the Court to clarify the proper construction of the taxation laws in a more timely way as suggested by the Court."
The ATO also proposes to amend Taxation Ruling TR 1999/5 (Fringe Benefits tax: employee benefit trusts and non-complying superannuation funds - meaning of 'associate' - property fringe benefits).
For a copy of the Decision Impact Statement, DIS QUD 253 OF 2006, go here