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.


Fyna Projects Pty Ltd v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCA 2041

TAXATION – review of decisions of the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation to issue notices under s 260-5 of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – where applicant paid amounts in breach of a s 260-5 notice – where Commissioner subsequently issued s 260-5 notices to third party debtors of the applicant – whether notices issued to third parties being debtors of the applicant were invalid – whether the applicant’s breach of s 260-5 gave rise to a “tax-related liability” within the meaning of s 2551 which could found the issuing of further notices – whether the applicant had a “pecuniary liability” to the Commonwealth arising “directly” under a taxation law TAXATION – whether s 260-

Comptroller-General of Customs v Pharm-A-Care Laboratories Pty Ltd [2018] FCAFC 237

TAXATION – Customs and Excise – tariff classification – appeal from a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – whether Tribunal erred in classifying vitamin preparations and garcinia preparations as medicaments under the Customs Tariff and free from duty – whether the preparations should be classified as food supplements and subject to duty Full decision here

Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Pedley (No 2) [2018] FCA 2015

TAXATION – liability of a director for amounts of PAYG withholding – director penalty notices issued – Div 269 of Sch 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (TAA) – allocation of payments pursuant to the ATO’s PS LA 2011/20 – whether the relevant debt was paid such that the director’s parallel liability was also discharged – whether the allocation decisions gave rise to jurisdictional error – discretion afforded pursuant to s 8AAZLE of the TAA. Full decision here

Fortunatow and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2018] AATA 4621

TAXATION – Income tax – Part 2-42 of Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 – Personal services income – Personal services business – Results test – Unrelated clients test – Work carried out through a recruitment company or some other intermediary – Offers or invitations to the public by LinkedIn advertising – Applicant not treated as having made offers or invitations by operation of s 87-20(2) of Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 – penalties – Finding of recklessness under s 284-90(1) of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 – Decision under review affirmed. Full decision here

Commissioner of State Revenue v Placer Dome Inc [2018] HCA 59

Stamp duties – Land-holding corporations – Acquisition of controlling interest – Whether corporation a "listed land-holder corporation" within meaning of Pt IIIBA of Stamp Act 1921 (WA) – Whether value of land to which corporation entitled 60 per cent or more of value of property to which it was entitled – Valuation methodologies – Whether corporation had legal goodwill – Meaning of legal goodwill – "Added value" approach to goodwill considered – Going concern value and goodwill distinguished Full decision here

McMullen and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2018] AATA 4481

TAXATION – objection to income tax assessment – whether third party payments should be included in assessment of Applicant’s income – onus of proof – where insufficient evidence was adduced to establish ‘reasonable explanation’ for third party payments - decision under review affirmed Full decision here

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