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Shams, reimbursement agreements ... and the return of economic equivalence?


The Raftland Trust “washed” $4 million of trust distributions through a loss trust whilst the benefit of nearly all sums distributed was retained. “Sham” characterisation was confirmed by the High Court for this otherwise legally enforceable transaction. The taxpayer’s financial and fiscal objectives had impermissibly differed. This article examines the reasoning of members of the Court and outlines some disturbing implications.

Author profile

Dr John Glover
Photo of author, John GLOVER John is a barrister practising in the fields of taxation, trusts and superannuation who has appeared in state and federal courts at all levels. He is also a professor in the Graduate School of School of Business & Law at RMIT University. Professor Glover is the sole author of three books as well as over 60 book chapters and articles in refereed law journals on taxation law, equity and trusts and is a co-author of Ford & Lee: The Law of Trusts. In the 2016-2017 year, Professor Glover worked full time for the Australian Taxation Office examining the relation between the Australian tax system and discretionary trusts linked to high net worth individuals. - Current at 27 October 2020
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