*Korda & Ors v Australian Executor Trustees (SA) Limited – High Court: Sale proceeds from timber investment scheme not held on trust for investors [18]

The High Court [on Wed 4.3.2015] ruled that the documentation for a timber plantation investment scheme did not support the existence of an express trust in favour of the scheme investors over the proceeds from the sale of the timber and scheme land. In so finding, the High Court unanimously allowed the appeal from the…

Lifting standards in financial services industry: Govt paper released [17]

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services’ inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry (PJC) presented its recommendations to Government on 19 December 2014. The PJC report outlines a comprehensive model to increase the professional standards of advisers, involving a co-regulatory approach where Government, professional associations,…

Re Micallef and FCT – assessments amended treating unexplained amounts treated as ‘assessable’ – defence that they were parial repayments of a loan to a ‘con-man’ failed due to inconsistencies of evidence and taxpayers’ onus

A taxpayer has failed before the AAT to prove that 4 amended assessments were excessive. The taxpayer conducted a fitness business on the Gold Coast. During an audit of the taxpayer’s affairs, the ATO discovered a number of transactions, which, in its view, were not satisfactorily explained and decided that certain sums flowing into the…

Re WTPG and FCT – taxpayer denied a deduction for the cost his wife’s ‘travel expenses’, to enable her to care for the debilitating effects of his disabilities and thus enable him to travel to the UK for his employer: s8-1 & s26-30

A disabled taxpayer has been denied a deduction for his wife’s travel costs where she accompanied him to conferences overseas. The taxpayer needed a carer to assist him in performing a number of daily tasks such as walking, showering, using the toilet and dressing. In the 2013-14 income year, he paid for his wife wife’s…

Overseas Banking Unit (OBU) reforms: draft legislation released [15]

The Government [on Thur 12.3.2015] released draft legislation to make reforms to the Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) regime. On 6 November 2013, the Government announced that it would proceed with certain reforms to the OBU regime. These reforms would address a number of integrity concerns with the existing regime while ensuring the OBU regime targets mobile financial sector activity.…

Investment Manager Regime reforms – Element 3 – draft legislation released [14]

The Government [on Thur 12.3.2015] released draft legislation to implement Element 3 of the Investment Manager Regime (IMR) reforms. The IMR reforms remove tax impediments to investing in Australia in order to attract foreign investment to Australia and promote the use of Australian fund managers. These draft amendments would extend the IMR concession to cover investments in…

Australia and Switzerland agree to tackle tax evasion: Treasurer [12]

The Treasurer [on Tue 3.3.2015] announced that Australia and Switzerland have agreed to increase cooperation to tackle tax evasion. Mr Hockey said the countries have “agreed to take another step in the fight against evasion and automatically exchange information with Switzerland based on the OECD’s common reporting standard (CRS).” Under the agreement, the ATO will automatically receive…

*Tax and [Social Security] Transfer Policy Institute’s new report: stocktake of tax system and directions for reform – five years after the Henry Review [11]

Tax and Transfer Policy Institute report on tax reform, 02 March 2015 The Tax and Transfer Policy Institute (TTPI) at The Australian National University has released a new comprehensive report on Australia’s tax system. In particular, the report: reviews the economic and social challenges which the Henry Review identified and identifies new ones which have come to…