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.


Binqld Finances Pty Ltd (In Liq) v Israel Discount Bank Limited; In the Matter of Binqld Finances Pt

TAXATION – Meaning of “protected information” in s 355-30 of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – whether information in a settlement deed with the Australia Taxation Office is “protected information” – whether disclosure of information would be an offence under s 355-155 of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – whether the exceptions in s 355-175 and/or s 355-205 of Sch 1 to theTaxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) engaged or applicable – whether disclosure of “protected information” “necessary” to give effect to a provision of taxation law – whether entire deed “protected information” – whether disclosure of non-protected information in an ATO settlement d

Fitzmaurice and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 2217

TAXATION — Superannuation — Self-managed Super Fund — Contravention of statutory imposed obligations by the responsible officer of the body corporate — Lending money to members — Breach of “sole purpose” test — Early release of benefits — Financial hardship — Late lodgement and failure to lodge annual returns — failure to maintain investments at “arm’s length” — Failing to keep up-to-date market valuation of the major asset of the fund — Failure to keep records — Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth), ss 31, 35AE, 35B, 35C, 35D,62, 65, 103, 104, 105, 109, and 126A — Decision affirmed Full decision here

Alamdo Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 1160

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – objection to competency of appeal – whether appeal is competent – where applicant sought to appeal from decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – where decision of the Tribunal did not affirm, vary or set aside the decisions under review – where the Tribunal had not concluded its review - where applicant sought to amend notice of appeal under r 33.14 after the Tribunal made a subsequent decision finally determining the applications for review Full decision here

Moreton Resources Limited v Innovation and Science Australia [2019] FCAFC 120

TAXATION – research and development tax offset – underground coal gasification (UCG) facility – pilot project – where appellant undertook a pilot project to test the viability of using UCG technology at a particular site to produce UCG synthesis gas that would then be cleaned and stabilised for production of electricity using gas turbines – where pilot project failed – where registered activities for subsequent years included remediation of the site – whether the registered activities for the subsequent years were “supporting R&D activities” within the meaning of Div 355 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) – whether the registered activities constituting the pilot project fell within

Campbell and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 2043

TAX – whether trust money distributed to a beneficiary properly characterised as assessable income – whether default income tax assessments issued by the ATO excessive – taxpayer’s burden to prove default assessments excessive – whether ATO had obligation to ensure default assessments correctly made - whether administrative penalty correctly imposed under section 284-75(3) of Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 –– whether discretion should be exercised to remit the penalty - decision under review affirmed Full decision here

SDRQ and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 2003

TAXATION – capital gains tax – disposal of shares in companies – whether a capital gains tax loss occurred – lack of contemporaneous evidence – carry forward capital gains loss – market value of the shares – meaning of 'market value' – transfer not at arm's length – hypothetical purchaser – remission of penalty – recklessness – decision varied Full decision here

Byron Pty Ltd and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 2042

TAXATION AND REVENUE – goods and services tax – entitlement to claim input tax credits – whether creditable acquisitions made – meaning of supply – meaning of acquisition – whether applicant liable to provide consideration lack of evidentiary base – administrative penalty – whether conduct involved recklessness – whether applicant is entitled to remission of penalty – objection decision affirmed PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for revocation of confidentiality order made following hearing of Part IVC review application – request for private hearing under s 14ZZE – confidentiality order restricting any information tending to reveal the identity of the witness – interests of witness – evi

Bosanac v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCAFC 116

INCOME TAX - appeal by taxpayer from decision of primary judge dismissing appeal from objection decision disallowing objections to notices of amended assessment - where taxpayer lodged no returns for a number of years - where returns when lodged showed nil or negligible income - consideration of the nature of an appeal under s 14ZZ Tax Administration Act 1953 (Cth) - where onus on taxpayer to prove that the assessment the subject of the objection decision was excessive - whether concession by Commissioner was sufficient basis upon which the Court could reach conclusion about taxpayer's income - where taxpayer did not demonstrate the nature and extent of his income - where taxpayer failed to

Farah Custodians Pty Limited v Commissioner of Taxation (No 2) [2019] FCA 1076

TAXATION – interlocutory application – application for leave to amend pleadings to include claims in negligence arising from the Commissioner of Taxation’s performance of his duties or responsibilities under ss 8AAZLF(1) and 8AAZLH(2) of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) regarding refunds of RBA surpluses – consideration of statutory duties and history and purpose of ss 8AAZLF and 8AAZLH of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – consideration of whether it was reasonably arguable that the Commissioner of Taxation owed the applicant a common law duty of care – consideration of whether the proposed claim in negligence raised a reasonably arguable case that the applicant suffered

Howard and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 1910

TAX – deemed dividend – whether dividend was a loan or income – whether the dividend applied to the 2009 or the 2010 income tax year – exercise of a discretion – reasonable grounds – whether penalty should be remitted in full or in part – whether shortfall interest charge should be remitted in full or in part – decision under review affirmed Full decision here

Hill and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 1723

Allowable deductions — Losses — Losses incurred in carrying on a business — Indicia of carrying on a business — Indicia of carrying on a share trading business — Taxpayer engaged in purchase and sale of shares — Deduction for loss disallowed — Whether taxpayer carrying on share trading business — Consideration of indicia — No system and regularity of trades — Lack of sophistication — No engagement of professional assistance despite having no relevant qualifications — Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth), s 8–1 — The Tribunal affirms the decision under review Full decision here

YCNM and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 1592

TAXATION – characterisation of settlement payment made by insurer under deed of release – claim under group salary continuance insurance policy – complaints about conduct of insurer - whether the settlement sum is ordinary income – whether CGT exemptions in s 118-37 or s 118-300 apply – settlement sum apportionable - decision set aside and remitted for reconsideration Full decision here

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