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Raftland Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2008] HCA 21 paper


This paper examines the following questions in the context of the High Court decision in Raftland and what that decision means for trust practices and distributions generally:

  • do we really need the trust loss measures and other complicated tax legislation after the High Court decision in Raftland?
  • are some trust distributions simply ineffective shams under common law principles?
  • if so, who gets taxed when a sham distribution is struck down: the trustee, the other beneficiaries named in the distribution minute or the default beneficiaries?
  • do the answers to these questions depend on a better worded trust deed or trust distribution minute?

Author profile

Dr John Glover
Photo of author, John GLOVER John is a barrister practising in the fields of taxation, trusts and superannuation who has appeared in state and federal courts at all levels. He is also a professor in the Graduate School of School of Business & Law at RMIT University. Professor Glover is the sole author of three books as well as over 60 book chapters and articles in refereed law journals on taxation law, equity and trusts and is a co-author of Ford & Lee: The Law of Trusts. In the 2016-2017 year, Professor Glover worked full time for the Australian Taxation Office examining the relation between the Australian tax system and discretionary trusts linked to high net worth individuals. - Current at 27 October 2020
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