PCG 2016/D1 – Practical Compliance Guidelines – Draft to introduce the ATO’s new product: advising defacto ‘safe harbours’ in terms of allocating audit resources (‘swim between the flags’)

On 16 March 2016, the ATO announced a new product being the Practical Compliance Guideline, by way of a draft of the first of these: PCG 2016/D1. These Guides will provide taxpayers with “broad law administration guidance”. The ATO says that a PCG may set out the Commissioner’s view on relative levels of tax compliance risk, so that…

‘Backpackers’ Tax’ – Government announces a review of their 2015 Budget Measure to impose treat temporary working holiday makers as non-residents (32.5% tax rate from $1)

On 16th March 2016, the Minister for Tourism: Senator Richard Colbeck issued a press release announcing that the Government would review the so called ‘backpackers’ tax announced in the 2015 budget measure (see below). They are now concerned about it’s impact on Working Holiday Makers plans to visit Australia and particularly our global competitiveness as…

Rigoli v. Commissioner of Taxation – Full Court agreed that the taxpayer failed to discharge his onus by only relying on the report the Commissioner used to raise the default assessment

On 15 March 2016, judgment was handed down by the Full Federal Court (Kenny, Davies and Moshinsky JJ) in the matter of Rigoli v. Commissioner of Taxation [2016] FCAFC 38  (VID 475 of 2015).  Mr Rigoli’s appeal was dismissed with costs. This appeal concerns what Mr Rigoli is required to prove to discharge the burden of…

Forestry & Agricultural MIS – Senate Economics Committee’s report after the collapse of Timbercorp, Great Southern and others – 24 recommendations

The Senate Economics References Committee on 11 March 2016 finally released its report into the structure and development of forestry (or agribusiness) managed investment schemes (MIS). It was originally due for release by 27 October 2014. Their terms of reference were issued after the spectacular crash of Timbercorp, Great Southern and others, creating legal turmoil, agricultural fall out and harrowing financial…

Forestry & Agricultural MIS – Senate Economics Committee’s report after the collapse of Timbercorp, Great Southern and others – 24 recommendations including tax issues

On 11 March 2016, the Senate Economics References Committee finally released its report into the structure and development of forestry (or agribusiness) managed investment schemes (MIS). It was originally due for release by 27 October 2014. The Preamble the Committee notes: “In 2009, two of Australia’s largest agribusiness managed investment schemes (MIS) failed—Timbercorp and Great Southern. In quick succession, a…

Financial Synergy Holdings Pty Ltd v. Commissioner of Taxation: cost base of asset deemed to be acquired before 20 September 1985 to be calculated as at the actual date of acquisition (taxpayer wins)

 On 10 March 2016, Full Federal Court handed done its decision which was to overturn the decision at first instance decision in favour of the Commissioner: [2015] FCA 53. The facts in this case involved a family trust that had owned units in a unit trust prior to the introduction of capital gains tax on 20 September 1985 (therefore…

Significant entities ($1b global turnover) who may be affected by the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law – should contact the ATO by 31 March 2016

On Friday 11 March 2016, the ATO advised (on its website) that there are three weeks left to notify us if you think your arrangements may be within the scope of the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL). If you meet the definition of a significant global entity (AUD 1b turnover) and are potentially impacted by the…

LCG 2015/D1 – Purpose, nature and role of ATO’s Law Companion Guidelines – whenever a new law introduces a new regime or unfamiliar concept etc.

Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2015/D1, issued on Thur 10.3.2016, discusses the purpose, nature and role of the Law Companion Guideline, a type of public ruling on newly enacted tax legislation. The ATO began publishing Law Companion Guidelines in 2015 and intends to issue a Guideline whenever a new law introduces a new regime or unfamiliar…

GST – Bill to tax digital imports (e.g. ‘Netflix’) and cross-border changes – Senate Committee’s report

report The Senate – Economics Legislation Committee – Report on Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016 [Provisions]  Introduction and background to the bill  Referral and conduct of the inquiry  1.1 On 25 February 2016, the Senate referred the provisions of the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016…