This page features a selection of recent cases of potential interest to our members and subscribers, as well as news updates from the Association. You can subscribe below to stay up to date with new posts.

Please note that this page is not a complete listing of all tax cases, but focuses on decisions of presidential members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Court, and the High Court. Decisions may be removed from time to time.


Commissioner of Taxation v Cassaniti [2018] FCAFC 212

INCOME TAX – withholding payments – where primary judge found respondent was entitled to a credit for amounts said to be withheld from salary or wages paid to her pursuant to s 18-15(1) of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – whether primary judge erred in accepting the veracity of the respondent’s purported PAYG payment summaries, payslips and written offers of employment – where Commissioner of Taxation contended that the documents had either not been properly proven or were a recent invention – whether respondent had been given proper notice of the contention of recent invention – whether primary judge erred in failing to draw an inference from respondent’s failure to cal

Address Given at the 2018 Tax Bar Association Annual Dinner

His Honour Justice Steward delivered the keynote speech at the Tax Bar Association Annual Dinner held on 29 November 2018, reflecting on the history of the legal profession and of the Tax Bar Association. You can read the full version of his Honour's speech here.

Burton v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCA 1857

TAXATION – appeal from an objection decision of the Commissioner of Taxation – where the taxpayer made gains from investments in the United States – where tax was paid in the United States on the gains realised – where the gains were also taxable under Australian tax law as capital gains – where the Commissioner denied the taxpayer a foreign income tax offset against his tax liability in Australia on the gains to the extent of half of the United States tax paid – issue as to what constitutes double taxation – consideration of Australia’s foreign income tax offset provisions in Div 770 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth), particularly s 770-10(1) – construction of the terms ‘included

Ransley v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCA 1796

TAXATION – tax treatment of net profits realised from sale and exchange of shares – whether net profits assessable as ordinary income or on capital account – appeal to Court and application for review to Tribunal – concurrent hearing – applicant involved in business operation or commercial transaction – shares held and sold on revenue account – profits assessable as ordinary income – application for review and appeal to be dismissed TAXATION – administrative penalties – recklessness – whether taxpayer’s position reasonably arguable – safe harbour exemption inapplicable – penalty upheld Full decision here

Caratti v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCA 1691

CONTRACTS - Commissioner agreed to forbear from taking recovery action against applicants in respect of tax related liabilities until outcome of challenges to liabilities - consideration of proper construction of the terms of the agreement - whether security had to be provided within 30 days before agreed forbearance would operate - whether applicants provided required security - whether Commissioner bound to forebear from enforcing liabilities - whether principles of relief against forfeiture or unconscionability apply - application dismissed Full decision here

Ham v Tax Practitioners Board [2018] FCA 1652

TAXATION – tax agents – cancellation of registration – fit and proper person – tax agent knowingly concerned over lengthy period in equitable fraud when acting otherwise than as tax agent as account for client – extent to which this is a factor to be taken into account in determining whether person is a fit and proper person – observations upon role of and conduct befitting a tax agent and content of expressions “fit and proper person” and “good fame, integrity and character” – Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (Cth), ss 20-5, 20-15, 20-25, 20-50. Held – appeal dismissed. Full decision here

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