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…

Nguyen v CofT – upheld AAT’s application of Binetter decision – making the ‘amendment’ and ‘penalty’ decisions effectively unchallengeable – without satisfying onus on the substantive liability

The Federal Court has confirmed that the onus is on the taxpayer to prove that there is no fraud or evasion. The taxpayer challenged an AAT decision (Nguyen and FCT [2016] AATA 1041) that the taxpayer had failed to discharge her burden under s 14ZZK(b)(i) of the TAA of showing that amended assessments for the 2008,…

Board of Tax’s Consultation Paper on new ‘residency’ rules for individuals – Primary (count the days) Test; Secondary (5 factor Australian ties) Test & various ‘integrity’ approaches – none great

In May 2016, the Board commenced a self-initiated review of the current individual tax residency rules. In the course of it’s inquiries, the Board spoke to English taxing authorities (HMRC) about their experience (see Tax Technical articles: FOI notes of HMRC call, Tax Month article on FOI document). It found that that the current individual tax…

Treasury Laws Amendment (Accelerated Depreciation for Small Business Entities) Act 2018 – 12 month extension of $20,000 instant asset write-off (to 30 June 2019) now law

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Accelerated Depreciation for Small Business Entities) Bill 2018 having been introduced on 24 May 2018; referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee on the same date, which reported on 30 May 2018 (unanimously supporting passage); was introduced into the Senate on 25 June 2018; sat in abeyance over 1 July 2018…

EU 3% ‘digital’ turnover tax on ‘significant global (digital) entities’ a possibility – global annual turnover of €750 million and annual EU revenue of at least €50 million

On 20 September 2018, The Irish Times reported that EU countries could agree a new short-term digital sales tax to apply to many of the major tech firms before the end of the year, according to Pascal Saint-Amans, the OECD’s leading tax expert, whilst speaking at the PwC/Irish Times tax summit, in Dublin (on 20 September 2018). Mr…

Vic land tax: Living and Leisure Australia Ltd (ACN 107 863 445) v Comr of State Revenue – assessments upheld re use of Crown land in ski resort – taxpayer loses appeal

The Victorian Court of Appeal has, by majority (Niall J dissenting), granted a taxpayer leave to appeal; but then dismissed its appeal, concerning land tax assessments, in respect of Crown lands, within the alpine resorts, at Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, which were used and occupied by wholly-owned subsidiaries of the taxpayer. The background was this. The…