IGT’s ‘Valedictory Speech’ included calls for the Government address his outstanding recommendations, including: to appoint an independent board to control the ATO; creation of an independent appeals branch under a new 2nd Commissioner and to rename the IGT as the ‘Taxation Ombudsman’

The outgoing Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT), Mr Ali Noroozi, has called on the Government to implement various of his outstanding recommendations, in a valedictory speech, on 4 October 2018. This was to mark his retirement. The primary recommendation was that recommendation that the Government (and Parliament) establish an independent management board to oversee the ATO.…

Treasury Laws Amendment (Black Economy Taskforce Measures No. 1) Act 2018 passes into law – introducing offences and penalties for ‘sales suppression tools’ and adding ‘cleaning’ and ‘courier’ payments as reportable to the ATO

On 3 October 2018, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Black Economy Taskforce Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 received Royal Assent as Act no. 121 of 2018. See the previous Tax Technical article about the Bill’s introduction to Parliament. Schedule 1 – sales suppression tools – of the Act prohibits the production, distribution and possession of sales suppression…

CofT v Sharpcan Pty Ltd – Full Federal Court held that $600k that a pub paid for 10 year statutory ‘gaming machine entitlements’ were s8-1 deductible (as not ‘capital’) or deductible on a 5-year ‘blackhole’ write-off basis (if it was a capital expense)

A majority of the Full Federal Court has dismissed the Commissioner’s appeal against an AAT decision allowing a $600k deduction, for expenditure on gaming machine entitlements (GMEs), allocated by the State of Victoria. The Court held that this expense was deductible under s8-1 of the ITAA97 or, in the alternative (if the expense was ‘capital’…

Draft legislation for 1 Year exemption from the ‘Work-test’ for 65 – 74 year old recent retirees, with a superannuation balance under $300,000 – $25k concessional and $100k non-concessional caps continue (but not 3 year ‘bring forward’)

On 2 October 2018, the Government has released draft legislation to give eligible older Australians additional flexibility to contribute more into superannuation as they move into retirement – as announced in the 2018-19 Budget as part of the More Choices for a Longer Life package. Currently, there is a ‘work test’ hurdle, which is that individuals…

GST – States agree to end ‘tampon tax’ and consider the Commonwealth’s new basis for dividing the GST Revenue between the States & Territories – Council on Federal Financial Relations meeting

The Treasurer reported that the Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) met in Melbourne on 3 October 2018. The ‘tampon tax’ will be removed – Significantly, he reported, there was unanimous agreement amongst the States  to remove the GST on feminine hygiene products (the States and Territories are the beneficiaries of the GST revenue and have to…

Digital economy and strengthening Australia’s corporate tax system – Treasury discussion paper released

On Tuesday 2.10.18, the Government released a discussion paper seeking views on options to strengthen the integrity of the corporate tax system, in the age of the digital economy. The Treasurer also noted (in his media release): the Government is concerned that some very profitable, highly digitalised companies pay very little tax in the countries…

Australian Expats revolt at ‘ham fisted’ measure to deny non-residents access to the ‘main residence’ CGT exemption – if sell whilst non-resident, irrespective of prior period of use as the ‘main residence’ and the period of not being resident

Article in Australian Financial Review: 4 October 2018, by Tom McIlroy and Michael Smith.   Canberra/Shanghai | Federal government plans to slug expats millions in capital gains tax if they sell their homes while living overseas could be at risk, amid growing concern from Labor and Senate cross-benchers. [See related Tax Technical article about the…

Vic payroll tax: Comr of State Revenue v The Optical Superstore Pty Ltd – taxpayer wins in optical industry deemed “wages” case – return of contractors fees from customers was not relevantly a ‘payment’

The Supreme Court of Victoria has dismissed the Commissioner of State Revenue’s appeal and found that distributions to Optometrist Entities were not “payments” within the meaning of the payroll tax acts because the Optometrist Entities beneficially owned the funds which were to be distributed to them under the respective express trusts. The Optical Superstore Pty…

Ellison v Sandini Pty Ltd – High Court refuses leave to appeal in Family Law rollover to corporate trustee case

The High Court has refused Sandini’s application for special leave to appeal from the decision of the Full Federal Court in Ellison v Sandini Pty Ltd [2018] FCAFC 44. The Full Federal Court had held that that Sandini was not entitled to s 126-5 (marriage breakdown roll-over relief), by operation of s 126-15, because: the 21 September 2010 orders…