John Morgan is a tax specialist lawyer of more than three decades experience now practicing at the Victorian Bar - w: www.FJMtax.com e: f.john.morgan@vicbar.com.au

R v Kinghorn – Prosecuting authorities allowed to use s264 information – compelled as part of a ‘Project Wickenby’ examination

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has held that prosecuting authorities were able to use information obtained 12 years earlier, in an examination of an individual under s264 of the ITAA 1936, in the course of prosecuting the taxpayer for various dishonesty related offences. The s264 examination arose in the course of the Commissioner’s ‘Project Wickenby’…

Draft Legislation to extend the power of the AAT to pause or modify ATO debt recovery action – Treasury consultation

The Government is seeking stakeholder views on exposure draft legislation that increases the rights of small businesses to contest the ATO’s collection of disputed tax debts in the AAT. In the 2021‑22 Budget the Government announced that it would extend the power of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to pause or modify ATO debt recovery action…

Frigger v Trenfield (No 10) – Certain assets not held in SMSF so divisible among creditors of bankrupt estates

In the beginning of December 2021, the Federal Court has ruled that certain assets of two undischarged bankrupts were not held in their self-managed super fund (SMSF) so that the assets were divisible among the creditors of their bankrupt estates. I note this is a long judgement (751 paragraphs) covering many issues. The facts were…

The Trustee For Virdis Family Trust t/a Rickard Heating Pty Ltd v CofT – Super guarantee: plumber an “employee” under extended meaning

The AAT has held that a plumber was an “employee” pursuant to the extended meaning of that term in s 12(3) of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (SGAA) for a person working under a contract – wholly or principally for labour. The facts were these. The taxpayer conducted a business selling and installing cooling and…

Decleah Investments Pty Ltd & Anor v CofT – GST: taxpayer’s margin scheme valuation confirmed – despite discounting from actual sales and expenses

The AAT has confirmed that the value assigned by a taxpayer for the purposes of the pre-1 July 2000 margin scheme provisions was $22m as the taxpayer contended (not the $8.1m contended by the ATO) because it was the product of an “approved valuation” (which discounted from actual sales and costs figures, rather than projected…

Buzadzic v CofT – AAT upholds amendments to husbands assessments (unexplained deposits, Div 7A dividends etc.) but allowed the appeal of the wife (deposits belonged to husband)

In late December 2021, the AAT upheld amendments made out of time on the basis of ‘fraud or evasion’ against a husband, but allowed the appeal of the wife, on the evidence that she was a ‘stay at home mother’ and the unexplained deposits in her accounts beloved to her husband. It upheld penalties of…