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The “new” Part IVA


Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth), the pivotal general anti-avoidance provision in Australian income tax law, was amended in 2013, in particular to clarify the scope and meaning of the concept of tax benefit. This article examines the thirty-plus year history of Pt IVA in order to reach some conclusions about the position we have reached. The article first considers Pt IVA in a cultural and attitudinal setting, including the drive for an “open” anti-avoidance provision and shifting attitudes to tax planning.

The article surveys antiavoidance law and practice before the coming of Pt IVA, and then discusses phases in the history of Pt IVA to date. The rise of the “new” Pt IVA is discussed, including the new emphasis on dominant purpose. The article concludes with some key issues to consider when providing structuring advice.

Author profile

Grant Wardell-Johnson CTA
Photo of author, Grant WARDELL-JOHNSON Grant is the Lead Tax Partner of the Economics and Tax Centre at KPMG. Grant has a background in providing tax advice relating to international and domestic tax structuring, international cross-border acquisitions and initial public offerings. Grant now leads the thought leadership on tax policy and consultation on new law, including KPMG’s response to base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and the OECD Action Plan. He is Co-Chair of the National Tax Liaison Group, an Adviser to the Board of Taxation, a member of the KPMG Global BEPS Steering Group and the KPMG Responsible Tax Group. He is KPMG Global Partner Champion for Geopolitics & Tax. He is an Adjunct Professor in Taxation and Business Law at the UNSW and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Western Australia. - Current at 25 February 2021
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