Bamsang Pty Ltd v FCT – Penalties for failing to lodge income tax and GST returns reduced (but not by that much) – some errors at first instance

The District Court of Queensland has allowed the appeal of the director and controller of a company from a decision of a Magistrate in which she pleaded guilty to 7 offences for failing to lodge income tax returns and 31 offences for failing to lodge GST returns for which she was fined $10,000 and $30,000,…

FCT v ElecNet (Aust) Pty Ltd (Trustee) – High Court allows taxpayer to appeal decision that it is not the trustee of a ‘unit trust’ for Division 6C purposes and therefore not taxed as a company

The High Court has granted the taxpayer special leave to appeal against the Full Federal Court decision in FCT v ElecNet (Aust) Pty Ltd (Trustee) [2015] FCAFC 178. The Full Federal Court had unanimously allowed the Commissioner’s appeal and held that an “industry severance trust scheme” for electrical workers was not a “unit trust” for the purposes of Div 6C…

FCT v Donoghue – use of privileged documents in raising assessments held to not be conscious maladministration causing jurisdictional error for the relevant ‘conclusively’ provision: s175

On 29 July 2016, the ATO issued Decision Impact Statement on the decision in FCT v Donoghue [2015] FCAFC 183, which reversed the decisions of Logan J in Donoghue v FCT [2015] FCA 235 and Donoghue v FCT [2015] FCA 291. This statement outlines the ATO’s response to this case, which involved the ATO using privileged documents, from a third party, without the use of…

Phoenix Taskforce executed 6 search warrants in the Gold Coast in the course of investigating illegally leaving tax debts behind and starting again in a new vehicle

On 29 July the ATO said that six search warrants were executed yesterday (Thurs 28 July 2016) as part of a cross-agency investigation into alleged illegal ‘phoenix’ activity on the Gold Coast. The operation stems from the work of the members of the multi-agency Phoenix Taskforce who are collaborating to help stamp out illegal phoenix…

Re Rowntree and FCT – taxpayer appeals AAT decision assessing him on $3m of $4m loans under Div 7A and 50% shortfall penalties

A taxpayer has appealed to the Federal Court against the decision of the AAT in Re Rowntree and FCT [2016] AATA 420. The matter was complex but resulted in alleged loans of over $4m being made by various companies (directly or indirectly) to a taxpayer. The AAT affirmed the Commissioner’s objection decision, that$3m of the payments were…

CR 2016/55 – Searoad (Queenscliff – Sorrento) Ferries Early Retirement Scheme is an ‘early retirement scheme’ under s83-170

On Wed 27.7.2016, the ATO issued the Class Ruling CR 2016/55 (Searoad Ferries Early Retirement Scheme). It applies from 27 July 2016 to 30 September 2016. [LTN 143, 27/7/16] Extract from Class Ruling Scheme 9. The Company operates the Sorrento-Queenscliff vehicle and passenger ferry service. In 2011, the Company began to fundamentally change its business from being a public transport service…

TD 2016/15 – airport lounge membership fees for employees are deductible (and not entertainment or a recreational club)

On Wed 27.7.2016, the ATO issued a TD 2016/15 saying that  states that an employer taxpayer is entitled to a deduction under s 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 for annual fees incurred on an airport lounge membership for use by its employees, where that membership is provided because of the employment relationship. In coming to this conclusion…

Shord v FCT – taxpayer who worked overseas appeals Fed Crt decision that he was resident, not entitled to s23AG exemption and not entitled to foreign tax credits

The taxpayer in Shord v FCT [2016] FCA 761, has appealed that decision to the Full Federal Court. In the earlier decision, the Federal Court dismissed the taxpayer’s appeal against an AAT decision (Re Shord and FCT [2015] AATA 355) which had held that, during the relevant periods, he was a resident of Australia, was not engaged in…