Citizen 7 High Court decision – Canavan and Xenephon survive; Joyce, Ludlam, Nash, Roberts and Waters ineligible – it is necessary to have taken all steps reasonably required by foreign law to renounce his or her citizenship of a foreign power

Today the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns upon references from the Senate and the House of Representatives, unanimously held that each of Mr Scott Ludlam, Ms Larissa Waters, Senator Malcolm Roberts, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP and Senator the Hon Fiona Nash was “a subject or a citizen … of a foreign power” at the time…

Operation of the MAAL – ATO ‘clarifies’ the effect of its evidence before the Senate Estimates Committee – which was that the MAAL had been very effective

The ATO said that commentary on 25 October 2017 had misrepresented the ATO’s evidence given at Senate Estimates in relation to the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Legislation (MAAL). It said: we wish to confirm the ATO is active in ensuring compliance by multinationals and the corporate tax sector, and the MAAL is effective in bringing multinational taxpayers…

Hawkins v FCT – Taxpayer won a judicial review of the AAT’s refusal to require the Commissioner to produce further documents about the compensation on termination of a car leasing fleet contract

The Federal Court has allowed a taxpayer’s application for judicial review in relation to an AAT decision to refuse his application, pursuant to s37(2) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act), that required the Commissioner to lodge certain documents. The substantive matter related to default assessments issued to the taxpayer for the 2001…

Productivity Commission’s 5 year review – revenue measures include land tax to replace stamp duty; States raise taxes for their own spending; collect HECS from estates; reform alcohol taxes (nothing to ‘write home about’)

The Productivity Commission released its report Shifting the Dial: 5 year productivity review, on Tue 24.10.2017. It looks at the factors and influences that may affect Australia’s economic performance over the medium term, in order to offer advice on where the country’s priorities should lie if it is to enhance national welfare. This process will be repeated every…

ATO’s focus on the cash economy and hidden economy – in the name of ‘protecting hones businesses’

Under the guise of “protecting honest businesses” the ATO has again set out what it is doing catch those operating dishonestly in cash and in the hidden economy (getting an ‘unfair’ advantage over the ‘honest’ business owner). The ATO says it will focus on businesses that, among other things: operate and advertise as “cash only”; ATO…

Superannuation Accountability Measures 1 & 2 Bills and Strengthening Trustee Arrangements Bill – Senate committee reports recommend they be passed – including the 1/3rd independent directors and chairman requirement

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No 2) Bill 2017 has passed the House of Reps without amendment. It proposes the following amendments to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (SGAA): salary sacrifice integrity – employers will be prevented from using an employee’s salary sacrifice contributions to reduce the…

Black economy – draft legislation to ban ‘sales suppression technology’ and extending the ‘Taxable Payment Reporting System’ to the cleaning and courier industries

In December 2016, the Black Economy Taskforce was established to develop a whole-of government policy framework involving new proposals to tackle black economy activity. In the 2017-18 Budget, the Government responded to the Black Economy Taskforce’s Interim Report by announcing the following measures to address the growing economic and social problem of the black economy:…

Thomas v CofT – High Court gives Commissioner leave to appeal adverse franking credit streaming decision – based on Qld Supreme Court declaration of beneficiaries’ rights

The High Court has granted the Commissioner leave to appeal the decision of the Full Federal Court in Thomas & Anor v CofT [2017] FCAFC 57. The case involved franking credit streaming and the Full Federal Court had unanimously allowed the taxpayers’ appeals against the August 2015 decision of Greenwood J in Thomas v CofT [2015] FCA 968 and…

Moignard and C of T – Taxpayer beneficiary assessable to only 1/3rd of the trust’s property profit under default beneficiary’ clause argument

The AAT has accepted the Commissioner’s changed position on the “present entitlement” of a taxpayer beneficiary and reduced tax assessments and penalty issued to him. The case concerned the 2007-08 financial year and, substantively, concerned whether the taxpayer was “presently entitled” to certain trust income during that year. The taxpayer was a winemaker who used…