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.


GYNW and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 4262

TAXATION – complying superannuation fund – taxation of superannuation entities – dividends from a company – whether a non-arm’s length relationship exists – where dividends paid according to shares held but whether transition of acquisition was non-arm’s length – whether the value of the shares was nil or nominal – future cash flows – penalties – failure to take reasonable care – safe harbour provisions – voluntary disclosure – shortfall interest Full decision here

Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Huang [2019] FCA 1728

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application for freezing orders against the respondents – whether a judgment for a tax debt will be enforceable in Hong Kong or China – whether the first respondent has a beneficial interest in the Mosman property – whether good arguable case Full decision here

Lacey and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 4246

TAXATION – superannuation excess transfer balance – whether pension drawdown debits or reduces transfer balance account – where applicant submits led into error by misleading content on ATO website – whether Tribunal has jurisdiction to determine whether content misleading – decision under review affirmed Full decision here

Hart v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCAFC 179

TAXATION – capital gains – discount capital gains – where trustees of various trusts sold shares and made capital gains – where various roll-overs had occurred prior to the sale of the shares – whether the appellants were entitled to a “discount capital gain” under Subdiv 115-A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) in relation to the disposal of the shares by the trustees of the trusts – whether the relevant provisions operated such that the trustees were taken or deemed to have held the relevant assets for a period of at least 12 months Full decision here

Commissioner of Taxation v Sharpcan Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 36

Income tax (Cth) – Allowable deductions – Where taxpayer had received percentage of income derived from 18 gaming machines operated by authorised gaming operator under Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic) at its hotel premises – Where Gambling Regulation Act amended to provide for gaming machine entitlements ("GMEs") to be allocated directly to gaming venue operators – Where taxpayer bid for and was allocated 18 GMEs permitting it to operate gaming machines at its premises for ten years – Where taxpayer paid purchase price by instalments – Whether purchase price was outgoing on revenue account deductible under s 8-1 of Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) ("1997 Act") – Whether purchase price

H2O Exchange Pty Ltd and Innovation and Science Australia (Taxation) [2019] AATA 4195

TAXATION – research and development tax offset – development of software platform for water trading – whether R&D activities are “core R&D activities” or “supporting R&D activities” within the meaning of Division 355 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) – whether internal review for a variation of a decision can be made while the decision is under external review – whether outcome can be known or determined in advanced – whether outcome amounts to new knowledge – decision affirmed Full decision here

Stockton v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 1679

TAXATION – residency of taxpayer – where the applicant is a citizen of the United States of America – where the applicant came to Australia for a “working holiday” – where the applicant was assessed for income tax as a non-resident and so could not claim the tax-free threshold – where the applicant submitted she was an Australian resident for taxation purposes – definition of “resident” – s 6(i) Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) – whether the applicant was an Australian resident according to ordinary concepts – where the applicant had continuous presence in Australia for more than 183 days of the income year – whether the Commissioner erred in being satisfied the applicant’s usual place o

Ke and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 4057

TAX – where income tax assessments issues by the Australian Tax Office following an audit – whether assessment excessive – whether administrative penalty correctly imposed under section 284-75(3) of Schedule 1 of the Tax Administration Act 1953 – whether discretion should be exercised to remit the penalty – decision under review affirmed Full decision here

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