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The Federal Court (Gilmour J) has held that Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH), a handler of bulk wheat and other grains grown in Western Australia, is entitled to an exemption from tax under s 50-1 ITAA 1997, on the basis that it is an exempt entity under Item 8.2 in the table in s 50-40 ITAA 1997.

Item 8.2 provides, so far as is relevant, as follows:

"A society or association established for the purpose of promoting the development of any of the following Australian resources:
(a) agricultural resources..."

The Commissioner has been ordered to amend the adverse private ruling issued to CBH to reflect the Court's finding.

The Court noted at para 48:

"The Commissioner contends that bulk handling facilities, whether in receiving, transporting, storing or loading grain, are not Australian agricultural resources within the meaning of s 50-40. Further, he contends that the grain and legumes produced by agriculture are not themselves Australian agricultural resources within the meaning of s 50-40, but rather it is the land and its capacity applied to agriculture, in the relevant parts of Western Australia that constitute Australian agricultural resources within the meaning of the section. This contention of course is at odds with the view taken by the Commissioner for nearly forty years. Counsel for the Commissioner declined an invitation to explain why this was so."

Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd v FCT [2010] FCA 508 (Federal Court, Gilmour J, 25 May 2010).


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