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Yearning for earnout certainty


This paper considers draft Taxation Ruling TR 2007/D10 which indicates the ATO’s current view of the CGT implications for vendors and purchasers in earnouts and reverse earnouts. It compares the current ATO approach with that taken in previous rulings, and also considers and compares the tax treatment of such earnouts in comparable overseas jurisdictions. It concludes that the current approach is not always defensible by reference to statute or case law, and that it leaves practitioners and their clients in a state of considerable uncertainty. The paper suggests potential solutions to these problems, and argues that the final ruling will have to adopt a significantly different position in order to remove this uncertainty.

Author profile:

Author Photo - Christopher Evans
Prof Christopher Evans
Chris is Professor of Taxation and former Head of the Australian School of Taxation (Atax) at UNSW Australia. He specialises in comparative taxation, capital and wealth taxation, tax law and administration, tax policy and reform. His PhD from UNSW was a comparative study of the operating costs of taxing capital gains. He also holds a master’s degree in European Political Integration from Leicester University and a Bachelor’s honours degree in Economics from London University, as well as postgraduate educational qualifications from Leeds University. He has researched and published extensively in taxation, and is a co-author of Australian Taxation Law and Cooper & Evans on CGT. He is General Editor of Australian Tax Review and Editorial Board member of other journals. He has served on a number of governmental and professional body committees and working parties in Australia and overseas, including the UK’s Mirrlees Committee and the HMRC International Panel on tax administration. Current at 04 July 2014 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Chris EVANS.
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