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.


Ariss and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 2958

TAXATION – income tax – whether trust distributions ordinary income and/or personal services income – whether Part IVA applies – entitlement to income tax deductions – whether Applicant entitled to clerical deductions for income attributed to spouse – whether deductions unreasonable amount paid to a related person – whether Applicant entitled to deduction for payments made to an associate – whether Applicant entitled to deductions for personal superannuation contributions – entitlement to income tax deduction for travel expenses where reimbursement already made – whether Respondent out of time to amend assessments – limited amendment period – whether Applicant beneficiary under a trust – whe

Burton v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCAFC 141

TAXATION – foreign income tax offset – s 770-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) – where taxpayer paid tax in the United States on gains made from the sale of certain assets in that country – where gains were also taxable in Australia – where gains were derived on capital account for Australian tax purposes – where 50% capital gains tax discount applied – where 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 tax paid in the United States – whether the capital gains before the application of capital losses and the capital gains tax discount were “included in” the taxpayer’s assessable inco

Linfox Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation of the Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCAFC 13

TAXATION – appeal on a question of law from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – fuel tax – excise or customs duty that is payable on fuel – whether taxpayer acquired taxable fuel to use, in a vehicle, for travelling on a public road – whether, as a consequence, the amount of the taxpayer’s fuel tax credit for the fuel was reduced by the amount of the road user charge for the fuel – whether error of law in the conclusion of the Tribunal that certain toll roads operated by a private operator to make a profit and required to be maintained by that operator at its cost were each a “public road” within the meaning of s 43-10(3) of the Fuel Tax Act 2006 (Cth) TAXATION – appeal on a question of

Stallion (NSW) Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation of the Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCA 1306

TAXATION – appeal against objection decisions deemed by s 14ZYA(3) to have been made by the Commissioner of Taxation under s 14ZY(1) of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – whether taxpayer was entitled to decreasing luxury car tax adjustments under the A New Tax System (Luxury Car Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) and input tax credits under the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) – whether taxpayer acquired luxury cars as agent for principal – whether taxpayer on-sold luxury cars – whether ‘sham’ Full decision here

Douglass v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 1246

TAXATION – appeal on questions of law from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – personal services income provisions – whether income of a partnership which contracted with a labour hire company to provide the taxpayer’s personal services as an electronics engineer was through conducting a personal services business – “results test” in s 87-18(3) for personal services entities – relevance of “custom or practice” under s 87-18(4) to application of the “results test” – appeal dismissed, with costs Full decision here

Fortunatow v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 1247

TAXATION – appeal from a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) – personal services income provisions in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) – personal services business tests – unrelated clients test – relationship between ss 87-20(1)(b) and 87-20(2) – whether marketing by LinkedIn profile to intermediaries and end-clients is making offers or invitations to the public at large or a section of the public – whether the fact that services are provided through the involvement of an intermediary means the unrelated clients test cannot be satisfied – appeal allowed, with costs – application remitted to the AAT for reconsideration according to law Full decision here

Pedley v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCAFC 130

TAXATION - appeal from decision of primary judge awarding judgment in favour of Commissioner - where director penalty notices issued - consideration of director's liability for withholding amounts - where basis for fact‑finding by primary judge challenged - consideration of s 269-20 of the Tax Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (TAA) - whether primary judge erred in not finding that certain payments made by the company were required to be applied by the Commissioner to the Company's liability to pay the withholding amounts the subject of the notice - consideration of the effect of a policy released by the Commissioner - whether Commissioner's allocation decision infected by jurisdictional error -

Biswas and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 2372

INCOME TAX – application for review of an objection decision – taxable income during the tax year ended 30 June 2017 – lump sum payment in arrears for underpaid wages – lump sum assessed as taxable income – where Applicant qualified for a tax rebate – whether Applicant was also eligible or entitled for medicare levy rebate or other relief in that income year – decision affirmed Full decision here

Lochtenberg v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 1167

TAXATION – income tax – appeal on a question of law from decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – taxpayer participated in employee incentive profit participation plan – taxpayer worked in Australia then Switzerland – amount payable after termination of employment – whether income exempt as foreign earnings derived from foreign service – whether facts fully found admitted of only one conclusion – whether Tribunal asked itself wrong question or applied wrong statutory test Full decision here

Sole Luna Pty Ltd as Trustee for the PA Wade No 2 Settlement Trust v Commissioner of Taxation [2019]

TAXATION – allowable deductions – s 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) (the “1997 Act”) – Div 3B of Pt III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) –where trust advanced money to its subsidiary in multiple foreign currencies – where trust and its subsidiary were not Australian residents for tax purposes at the time of the advancements of monies – whether the advancements of monies constituted a loan or loans – where liability was repaid in part by way of payment of Australian dollars and an assignment of Australian dollar denominated receivables at a time when the trust and its subsidiary had become Australian residents for tax purposes – whether the trustee of a trust incurr

Downer Utilities Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of the Anti-Dumping Commission [2019] FCA 1190

TAXATION – Customs Act 1901 (Cth) – dumping duty – countervailing duty – where application for an assessment of duty on goods entered for home consumption during a particular importation period omitted a consignment – where the value of the omitted consignment was relatively low – whether the applicant did not provide a full description of the goods imported during the importation period contrary to s 269W(1)(a) – where spreadsheet on the Anti-Dumping Commission (the “ADC”) website did not allow for the claimed excess of interim duty paid to be calculated – whether the application substantially complied with s 269W(1)(e) because it contained nearly all of the data needed to calculate the cla

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