OECD launches public database of macro-economic tax data – showing tax as a % of GDP broken down by tax type and correlated to per capital income etc.

The OECD has launched a new database providing detailed and comparable tax revenue information for 80 countries around the world – and which will expand to cover more than 90 countries by the end of 2018. The Global Revenue Statistics Database provides what it says is the largest public source of comparable tax revenue data…

Denmark Community Windfarm Ltd v CofT – Grant to establish wind farms triggers an assessable recoupment as ‘indemnity’ and depreciation under the optional method for ‘small business entities’ & now a DIS

The Full Federal Court has dismissed the taxpayer’s appeal and held that a Commonwealth grant of almost $2.5 million, for the establishment of wind farms, was an assessable recoupment of deductible expenses, under s20-20 of the ITAA97 – despite the deductions being amortised rather than an ‘outright deduction’. The case involved the development of a…

Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No 2) Bill 2018 – various amendments to the requirements for venture capital tax concessions – Early Stage VCLP and ‘Early Stage Innovation Companies’ & Committee Report

The Government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No 2) Bill 2018 into the House of Reps this Thur 8.2.2018 to implement the this previously announced measure (and one other, which I will not be covering). This Bill was referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, on 15 February 2018, for report by 15 March…

Coventry v CofT – DFAT employee’s overseas earnings exempt from Australian tax, under s23AG, because diplomatic immunity was not ‘the only’ reason for no Pakistani tax (and draft DIS)

On 12 January 2018, the AAT has decided that a DFAT employee’s earnings while working in Pakistan were exempt under s 23AG of the ITAA 1936. This was because there was a Development Agreement, that gave the earnings exemption from Pakistani tax. I will explain why. Section 23AG(1) exempts, from Australian tax, any foreign earnings derived by…

Treasury Laws Amendment (MAAL extension) Bill 2018: draft legislation to catch supplies made by Australian trusts and partnerships which are linked to a ‘foreign entity participants’

On 12 February 2018, Treasury released an exposure draft of legislation to extend the application of the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL) to capture the use of certain trusts and partnerships that may otherwise circumvent the MAAL. This measure was announced in the 2017-18 Federal budget (in May 2017). The MAAL is located in Part IVA of the…

Taxpayer Alert TA 2018/1 – to multiply shareholding parcels to multiply franking credits (without being economically exposed on both parcels)

On 13 Feb 2018, the ATO issued its first Tax Alert for the 2018 year: TA 2018/1. It says that the ATO are reviewing arrangements that are intended to provide imputation benefits to Australian taxpayers who are not the true economic owners of the shares. Arrangements the Alert does apply to The ATO give an…

Tax treatment of ‘bare trusts’: Board of Taxation report makes 8 recommendations for change, including to legislate for a ‘look through’ approach, given the tenuous technical status of the extra-ordinarily wide practice

On Wed 14 Feb 2018, the Board of Taxation released its report Review of the Tax Treatment of Bare Trusts and Similar Arrangements to the public. The Board’s review was completed in June 2017. The Revenue Minister said the Board of Taxation has identified opportunities to simplify arrangements where the trustee has no or only minor powers of…

Edited versions of ‘private binding rulings’ now available on the ATO Legal database – to make them easier to find and search

On 12 Feb 2018, the ATO announced that edited versions, of Private Binding Rulings (EVs), are now available in the ATO Legal database (this produces a ‘search box’ and you can ‘refine search’ by ‘edited private advice’ to get all the EV’s on the subject matter for which you were searching). Moving them to the ATO…

PR 2018/1-3 – HSBC: ‘presently entitled’ share; Macquarie: interest deductibility; Macquarie: Capital protected loans and Div 247 effect on interest deductibility

The following Product Rulings were released by the ATO on Wed 14.2.2018: PR 2018/1 – Tax consequences of investing in the HSBC UCITS Common Contractual Fund. This ruling provides that the relationship between the fund manager and unit holders constitutes a trust and that the share of the net income of the trust to which…

TR 2018/2 – Record-keeping requirements: electronic records of transactions, elections and the like (revising 2005 ruling)

On 14 Feb 2018, the ATO issued Taxation Ruling TR 2018/2 on the record-keeping obligations of business taxpayers (individuals and companies) where records are kept in electronic form. The ruling contains a series of principles about electronic record-keeping. These principles are that: electronic records are recognised as documents for tax law purposes (Section 2B of…