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Part IVA - Shifting the goal posts


The Commonwealth Government has indicated that it is concerned about the Commissioner of Taxation losing a number of significant court cases concerning the general anti-avoidance provision, Pt IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. The government has accordingly announced its intention to amend Pt IVA, with effect from 1 March 2012. Some indication of the likely amendments can be gleaned from the government’s announcement, and from the Commissioner’s approach to the preferred interpretation of the definition of “tax benefit” in Pt IVA, as shown by argument addressed to the High Court in applications for special leave to appeal.

This article addresses the government’s responses to the approach of the courts in recent years to determining whether a Pt IVA scheme gives rise to a tax benefit in connection with the Pt IVA scheme, with particular reference to the so-called “do nothing” alternative postulate.

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William Thompson CTA
Bill works for Minter Ellison as Tax Practice Head and Managing Partner of the firm's Brisbane office. Bill is a past National Chair of the Taxation Committee Law Council of Australia, a past Chair of the Taxation Institute of Australia, Queensland Division and has been an executive officer of the Taxes Section of the International Bar Association. Bill advises Australian and international clients in structuring and transactional tax matters, and has particular experience in taxation disputes including litigation to appellate level in the Federal and Queensland jurisdictions. He is well known as a presenter on tax issues in Australia and has been an invited speaker for tax conferences of the IBA, the American Bar Association Tax Committee (Foreign Lawyers) and the Taxation Academy of Singapore. - Current at 02 July 2012
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