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Designed for the specialist tax professional, The Tax Specialist journal is essential reading for corporate tax advisers, accountants, lawyers and academics. Featuring in-depth analysis, opinion and argument on legislative, administrative and judicial issues it is published five times per year and is available by subscription. Also known as the Red Journal.

The Tax Specialist covers the latest issues affecting your role and your business, including:

  • consolidations
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  • international tax
  • GST securitisation
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  • legal professional privilege
  • Part IVA
  • TOFA, and more.

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Articles from the current issue:

  • AusNet and the discretionary power to reconstruct accounts: Part 1

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Oct 2016

    The decision of the Federal Court in the AusNet Transmission Group Pty Ltd case concerned the capital allowance treatment of copyright in various drawings and documents. The case turned on the exercise of the Commissioner’s power under s 124R(5) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to allocate a cost to the copyright assets, and vicariously on the nature and scope of the opportunities that exist for review of the Commissioner’s decision. The result of the decision is that s 124R(5) determinations are liable to objective merits review and afford no protected discretionary area to administrators. In part 1 of this two-part article, the author sets out the primary facts of the case and the manifold issues raised by it. The author then discusses in detail the decision at first instance in the Federal Court. Part 2 will examine the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court on appeal.

  • Taking the purpose out of creditable purpose

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Oct 2016

    For almost 16 years, since GST was introduced, practitioners have made endeavours to complete the puzzle on the meaning of “creditable purpose”. The definition of this foundational concept has been judicially considered in landmark cases such as HP Mercantile and Rio Tinto – both decisions attempting to shed light on s 11-15 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999, a unique provision with no real analogue in the GST/VAT world. This article explores the Rio Tinto decisions in the context of previous judicial decisions; proposes that determining creditable purpose involves a two-step process; and seeks to illustrate the relevant principles through a common and practical example. The author notes that Rio Tinto is unlikely to be the last judicial foray into the statutory construct of creditable purpose, especially as the case involved an enquiry into the relationship between an input and an intermediate output, though the decision enables practitioners to place a few more pieces into the GST puzzle.

  • Valuation of contract intangibles for tax and duty purposes

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Oct 2016

    In “land rich” cases, the market value of land holdings is required to determine whether or not a liability to pay stamp duty arises or whether or not the market value of an entity’s assets that are taxable Australian real property (TARP) exceeds the sum of the market values of its assets that are non-TARP for capital gains tax purposes. The value of land assets /TARP assets relative to non-land assets/non-TARP assets is the focal point of “land rich” cases.

    This article deals with the valuation of contract intangibles which is often a key category of identifiable intangible assets in “land rich” cases. Notwithstanding the discussion of the conceptual issues in the context of “land rich” cases, the conceptual framework established in this article can be applied to, or provide guidance for market value assessment in other tax contexts.

  • Thin capitalisation: A focus on trusts

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Oct 2016

    Unit trusts are the investment vehicle of choice for many investors involved in infrastructure projects. The two key features of infrastructure transactions that especially require careful consideration involve deductibility of interest assumptions and assumptions in relation to the tax transparency of vehicles. There are many tax issues which are critical to availability of debt deductions to trust vehicles holding infrastructure projects, including unit trusts. This article looks at the thin capitalisation rules, with a particular focus on domestic infrastructure projects in which eligible investment business activities are conducted within a unit trust. The article examines the thin capitalisation rules, as amended in 2014, in the light of changes to the worldwide gearing test, the Australian Taxation Office’s compliance position in respect of negative control and changes to the definition of public unit trust. The article discusses the exemption for the 90% Australian assets test and the exemption for special purpose entities.

  • Identifying the supply for GST purposes

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Oct 2016

    The GST, like all value-added taxes, is a tax fundamentally on commerce. It is more concerned with immediate dealings in tangible objects and observable services and less concerned with an analysis of the rights arising and discharged in the course of the transaction. The general approach to the interpretation of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services) Tax Act 1999 is therefore one that requires the legislation to be interpreted in a practical or business-oriented way that is not unduly technical. Recently, the High Court has, in four cases, reversed the decisions of the Full Federal Court in relation to the nature of the “taxable supply” in contest. This has led to a perception that the High Court has rejected the “practical business tax” approach in favour of an approach grounded in close legal analysis of the events in question. This article rejects this perception and questions what the real nature of the transactions were in those four cases, and whether there was a supply at all.

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