The ATO [on Mon 2.3.2015] issued a Decision Impact Statement on The Engineering Manager and FCT [2014] AATA 969. In that case, the AAT held that an engineer who returned to Australia in April 2011 after working overseas since 2004, was not a resident of Australia for the whole of the 2011 year. The ATO said the Tribunal had approached the question of residency by weighing the facts and circumstances it considered relevant. It said this was consistent with the ATO’s approach to issues of residency, including the ATO view expressed in Taxation Ruling IT 2650. The ATO said it considered that the Tribunal’s “decision creates no new law in this area”. It added the decision “does not change the ATO’s approach to residency cases”. It said it “will continue to approach residency cases by weighing all the relevant facts and circumstances and applying the relevant tax law and authorities to those facts.”

[LTN 40, 2/3/15]

The ATO has released a decision impact statement on Case 9/2014, 2014 ATC ¶1-071 (Engineering Manager v FC of T). In that decision, the AAT found that an engineer who had worked overseas since 2004 and returned to Australia in April 2011 was a resident of Australia only from the date of his return until 30 June 2011, and not for the whole of the 2010/11 income year.

[IT, 2/3/15]

FJM comment

There does seem to be a question of law to me, namely: whether residency status can change mid-year, and I thought that question had been settled in the affirmative long before this case was argued.