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Ninth Annual States' Taxation Conference

Published on 05 Aug 2009 | Took place at Darwin Convention Centre, NT

The Ninth Annual States’ Taxation Conference was brought to you by the Taxation Institute in conjunction with the Revenue Offices of each State and Territory. It covered all State and Territory taxes in one technical program.

As with previous years, all State and Territory Revenue Commissioners were in attendance together with representatives from their respective offices.

The event was of particular value to those practitioners who operate across jurisdictions to meet face to face with people they might interact with on State tax matters. The event included an in-depth technical discussion on contemporary aspects of payroll tax and stamp duty and a presentation on Federal and State tax reform by a member of the Henry Review Panel, Professor Greg Smith, and a session covering State and Territory revenue compliance plans.

Get a 20% discount when you buy all the items from this event.

Individual sessions

Federal and State tax reform – is there a future for State and Territory taxes?

Author(s):  Greg SMITH

This paper covers:

  • the context of tax reform
  • implications for tax architecture
  • implied vision for Australia
  • international trends and advances in theory and evidence
  • is there a future for State and Territory taxes?
  • State and Territory tax bases and federal finances
  • alternative State and Territory revenues
  • other issues in State and Territory tax reform.
Materials from this session:

Stamp duty and payroll tax discretions

Author(s):  Michael FLYNN

State tax legislation confers numerous discretions on the Commissioners, the exercise of which may determine whether any tax liability arises. An understanding of the scope of discretionary powers and the avenues for challenging the exercise of discretions will often be critical for both revenue officers and for practitioners advising clients affected by the exercise of discretionary powers. This paper covers:

  • what types of discretions exist in State tax legislation?
  • how do you identify a discretion - when does ‘may' mean ‘may' and not ‘shall'?
  • what constraints apply to Commissioners when exercising a discretion?
  • what protections exist for taxpayers before, during and after the exercise of a discretion?
  • avenues for challenging the exercise of a discretion
  • practical considerations for taxpayers and the Commissioner when dealing with discretions
  • should the use of discretions be encouraged?
Materials from this session:

State taxes update

Author(s):  David READ

This paper covers some of the most important legislative changes and developments over the past 12 months.

Materials from this session:

Revenue Office compliance plans update

Author(s):  Simon MCKEE

This paper covers:

  • approaches to compliance
  • risks and treatments
  • data matching
  • focus of compliance activities across jurisdictions
  • general findings, including typical mistakes.
Materials from this session:

State cases update

Author(s):  Angela MELICK

This paper considers significant State and Territory cases over the last 12 months, including:

  • Asciano Services Pty Ltd
  • Westpac Funds Management Ltd
  • ING Life Ltd
  • TT-Line Company
  • Gloria Jeans Coffees International Pty Ltd.
Materials from this session:

Global financial crisis - Stamp duty issues for recapitalisations, schemes of arrangement and corporate insolvency

Author(s):  Peter MCMAHON

The global financial crisis - what does it mean for State taxes? This paper covers:

  • what are the main issues affecting your clients?
  • scope for increased audits and litigation/settlements
  • current stamp duty issues for schemes of arrangements and takeovers, capital restructures and insolvencies.
Materials from this session:

Harmonised tracing provisions - How far do they go?

Author(s):  Ian PHILLIPS

This paper covers:

  • how far do they go?
  • do they introduce concepts beyond what the pre-existing provisions provided for, eg. grouping of ‘entities' which hold the direct/indirect interest?
Materials from this session:

Landholder duty - Recent developments

Author(s):  Barbara PHAIR

This paper covers a survey of land rich provisions Australia-wide including the landholder regimes in NSW and WA including:

  • land rich and landholder duty compared and contrasted
  • the treatment of land rich trusts, land rich companies and partnerships
  • the different approaches to timing, aggregation and tracing
  • a review of the new NSW landholder provisions and their practical implications.
Materials from this session:

Taxation of independent contractors - Contractor provisions post harmonisation

Author(s):  Gary MATTHEWS

This paper covers:

  • general considerations
  • common law employee or contractor?
  • independent contractor legislation
  • employer obligations
  • future reform of contractor provisions.
Materials from this session:

Transactions involving real property

Author(s):  Peter ALLEN,  Katrina PARKYN

This paper covers:

  • what is land?
  • interests in land
  • fixtures
  • statutory severance provisions
  • fixed to land provisions - rewriting the law of fixtures?
  • valuation issues.


Materials from this session:

Harmonisation of payroll tax administration

Author(s):  Richard JOLLY This paper addresses current issues arising from the harmonisation of payroll tax administration.

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Payroll tax - Exemptions/concessions/rebates post harmonisation

Author(s):  Glynn FLAHERTY This paper examines and compares the exemptions, concessions and rebates available under the various States' payroll tax legislation. Sometimes, subtle differences between the States, or State specific policies, may mean that your clients are not taking advantage of all the opportunities for savings and rebates that are available.

Materials from this session:

“Black letter versus purposive – a false dichotomy?”

Author(s):  Justice John LOGAN

This paper gives an interpretation of State and Territory tax legislation including:

  • The High Court's view on the "purposive approach"
  • recent Federal tax cases: Reliance Carpets & PM Developments
  • are there implications for courts construing State and Territory tax laws?
Materials from this session:


Author(s):  Daryl WILLIAMS This paper examines the manner in which courts have approached the issue of valuation in a stamp duty context and discusses, in particular, a number of recent decisions and their practical implications.

Materials from this session:

Climate change – State and Territory tax implications of the new system

Author(s):  Amrit MACINTYRE

The Federal Government proposes to introduce an emissions trading scheme in 2010. This paper covers:

  • what are the stamp duty and State taxation issues?
  • how will dealings connected with carbon sinks be treated?
  • emissions trading - what are the stamp duty issues?
  • Torrens registered carbon rights
  • landholder and land rich duty issues
  • valuation issues.
Materials from this session: