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The state tax cases “essential toolbox”


The complexity of modern financial arrangements means that a revenue officer or a revenue practitioner must have what the author calls a “toolbox” containing the leading decisions on revenue law. It is important to know and to understand the authorities, both to comply with the principle of stare decisis and to be able to apply them to new situations as they arise. The purpose of this article is to provide such a toolbox.

The article first considers a leading decision on the extent of review by the courts or tribunals of decisions of the revenue authorities. The article goes on to examine the leading cases on statutory interpretation, equitable interests and equitable ownership, goodwill, and statutory rights to affix to, or imbed in, land utilities. The author concludes that the ingenuity of mankind will ensure that there will be a constant need to scrutinise new arrangements in light of the reasoning in the leading cases.

Author profile

Hon Ian Vitaly Gzell AM QC FTI-Life
The Hon. Justice Ian Gzell FTIA (Life) was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1965 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in Queensland in 1977. He was appointed to the Equity Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2002 where, apart from his other duties, he is the Revenue List Judge. He was admitted as a Barrister in every state and territory in Australia and in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with admissions for multiple single causes in Singapore, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. At the Bar, Ian specialised in revenue law with particular emphasis on international taxation. He was President of The Taxation Institute from 1985-1986, President of the Commercial Law Association of Australia from 1994-1996 and has been Vice President, Western Pacific, of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law since 2005 and Chairman of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Australia, Sydney Branch since 2007. He has had numerous articles published and is in constant demand as a speaker. - Current at 11 July 2008
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