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.


Peter Greensill Family Co Pty Ltd (trustee) v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 559

TAXATION – appeal under s 14ZZ of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – assessment of trustee under s 98 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) –whether capital gains distributed to a non-resident beneficiary were assessable to the resident trustee – whether capital gains were disregarded under s 855-10(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) (ITAA 1997) – where beneficiary deemed to have capital gains under Subdiv 115-C of the ITAA – appeal dismissed Full decision here

Mussalli v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 544

TAXATION — Income tax — Deductibility — Payments made upon entering into lease and licence agreements of franchise restaurants — Payments described as prepayments of rent —Whether payments were capital in nature or on revenue account — Substance and form — Characterisation of advantage sought — Consideration of general principles — Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) s 8-1 — Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) s 82KZMD Full decision here

XPQZ, KYZC, DHJP and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2020] AATA 1014

TAXATION – tax treatment of gains on sale and exchange of shares – whether gains income according to ordinary concepts or capital gains – where sole director and shareholder of trustee company that acquired the shares was a director of the company in which the shares were acquired – whether shares acquired in a business operation or commercial dealing pursued by the trustee and director – held gains are income according to ordinary concepts – application for review dismissed TAXATION – administrative penalties – recklessness – whether taxpayer’s position reasonably arguable – where limited evidence of circumstances surrounding preparation of returns – penalty upheld Full decision here

Commissioner of Taxation v Israel Discount Bank Limited [2020] FCAFC 71

Appeal from: Binqld Finances Pty Ltd (In Liq) v Israel Discount Bank Limited; In the Matter of Binqld Finances Pty Ltd (In Liq) [2019] FCA 1186. TAXATION – application for leave to appeal – where primary judge made interlocutory orders requiring Commissioner of Taxation, a non-party, to provide to the plaintiffs and the Court a redacted copy of a settlement deed – where Commissioner contended that the entirety of the settlement deed was “protected information” as defined in s 355-30 of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – where Commissioner contended that s 355-205 precluded the Court from ordering production or disclosure of the settlement deed, even in partially redacted f

Havilah Resources Ltd and Innovation and Science Australia (Taxation) [2020] AATA 933

TAXATION – research and development tax offset – whether claimed activities are ‘core R&D activities’ within the meaning of Div 355 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) – mining related activities – where activities involved standard and routine hydrogeological drilling, sampling and pumping tests and subsequent routine groundwater modelling tasks – where activities involved standard and routine hydrogeological and geotechnical investigations into the feasibility and optimisation of a tailings storage facility for a proposed mining development – where activities came within the exclusion in s 355-25(2)(b) for prospecting, exploring or drilling for minerals - where activities came with

Zaghloul v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 469

TAXATION - appeal from decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirming Commissioner of Taxation's decision to disallow applicant's objection against income tax assessment - where applicant's employer made lump sum payment to applicant - where Tribunal found lump sum payment was back payment for period when applicant's employer failed to make weekly payments for total incapacity - where Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (Cth) provides for an election to receive compensation as a lump sum payment in certain limited circumstances - whether applicant should be treated as if he made election - whether lump sum payment should be treated as an Employment Termination Pay

Stallion (NSW) Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 554

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for security for costs of appeal– whether reasonable prospects of success on appeal – whether appellant’s impecuniosity arises out of respondent’s conduct – whether the appeals will be stifled or stultified if order for security made Full decision here

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