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Goodwill and taxation issues


This article is based on a paper given at the Taxation Institute’s annual Tax Intensive Retreat in August 2007. It considers the legal meaning of goodwill and thereafter identifies sources of goodwill such as licences, marks, and designs. The discussion of assets as sources of goodwill leads to a discussion of Div 40 and subsequently to the application of CGT to goodwill. There is detailed discussion of a number of cases on goodwill (especially Murry) including the sometimes fictional attempts made at goodwill licensing (such as in the Just Jeans case). The final part of the article considers goodwill and comparative aspects of CGT’s application to know-how and show-how.

Author profile

Prof Michael Walpole CTA
Photo of author, Michael WALPOLE

Professor Michael Walpole is the Associate Head of School (Research) at the School of Taxation and Business Law (including Atax) in the Australian School of Business.

Michael has a PhD in Taxation Law from the Faculty of Law UNSW. Prior to academic life, Michael worked as a Tax Consultant with Ernst & Young, and prior to that he was in private practice as a legal practitioner. As a partner in a small firm, Michael's legal practice was extremely varied. As an academic he has been awarded the Hill Medal by the Australasian Tax Teachers Association (ATTA) for his contribution to tax teaching and is a past President of ATTA.

Michael has authored and co-authored several books including Proposals for the Reform of the Taxation of Goodwill, Understanding Taxation Law and Compliance Cost Control. Michael has also written and presented many papers on his research topics to practitioner and academic audiences in Australia and overseas. He is co-editor of the Australian Tax Review and he is also author and co-author of a number of articles on GST, taxation of intellectual property, tax administration and taxation compliance costs, especially psychological costs of taxation compliance.

Michael is an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Business Tax in the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

- Current at 27 April 2017
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