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.


Huang v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (No 2) [2020] FCAFC 160

Appeal from: Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Huang [2019] FCA 1728 PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – where appeal allowed against freezing orders against non-Australian assets – where remaining freezing orders against Australian assets sought to be amended in consequence of appeal – issue not squarely raised on appeal – likelihood that matter will require further hearing and evidence – assessment of whether hearing matter by the Full Court will serve interests of justice – whether issue better dealt with by single judge in original jurisdiction COSTS – where applicant successful on appeal – whether Full Court should set aside the order for costs made by the primary judge and make new costs order

Morrison-Francis and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2020] AATA 3757

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the matter – deemed decision of the Commissioner – whether the applicant provided written notice under s 14ZYA requiring a decision to be made by the Commissioner – Commissioner found not to have previously received the written notice – Commissioner has now received notice requiring decision within 60 days – 60 days not elapsed between notice and application for review – no deemed decision – no reviewable decision for the Tribunal to consider – no jurisdiction Full decision here

Commissioner of Taxation v Pike [2020] FCAFC 158

Appeal from: Pike v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 2185 TAXATION – Australia and Thailand double taxation treaty Art 4(3) – “tiebreaker” provisions regarding residency – where respondent’s de facto wife and children lived in Australia and respondent worked in Thailand –whether respondent had an habitual abode in both Australia and Thailand – whether assessment based on more than days spent in one contracting state over the other – whether respondent’s personal and economic relations were closer to Australia or Thailand – conjunctive test applied by primary judge – conclusion of primary judge not wrong on facts of case – appeal and cross-appeal dismissed TAXATION – whether respondent a

Advanced Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCAFC 157

Appeal from: Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Advanced Holdings Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 1917 TAXATION – application for leave to appeal from interlocutory decisions to dismiss summarily an application to quash amended assessments made pursuant to s. 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth.) and to give summary judgment in favour of Commissioner in recovery proceedings – where applicant made allegations of illegal conduct in assessment process relating to execution of search warrant and production of documents seized and relied upon in assessment – where learned primary judge summarily dismissed application in reliance upon High Court and Full Federal Court authority – whether decision of learned prim

Eichmann v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCAFC 155

Appeal from: Commissioner of Taxation v Eichmann [2019] FCA 2155 TAXATION – appeal from judgment of Federal Court of Australia setting aside decision of Administrative Appeals Tribunal in relation to private ruling – where ruled facts stated that relevant entity carried on a business of building, bricklaying and paving – where taxpayer sought ruling that a block of land used by that business for storage of work tools, equipment and materials was an “active asset” for purposes of s. 152‑40 of Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth.) – where Commissioner ruled that land was not used in course of carrying on a building, bricklaying and paving business and was not active asset – where Tribunal set

Commissioner of Taxation v Rowntree [2020] FCA 1322

TAXATION – Whether each respondent engaged in conduct that resulted in him or another entity being a promoter of a tax exploitation scheme in each of 4 tax years in contravention of s 290-50(1) of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – where scheme involved investor paying 15% non-refundable deposit for not presently existing carbon or REDD credits that vendor had no existing source for or obligation to supply in the future – where investor under scheme claimed tax deduction of full price in year of entry into purchase contract – whether each respondent promoter of tax exploitation scheme within meaning of ss 290-60(1) and 290-65 – whether entity had substantial role in respec

Carter v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCAFC 150

TAXATION – application for an extension of time to appeal under s 44 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) from a decision on a review under s 14ZZK of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – purported distribution of trust income – whether Tribunal erred in holding there was no resolution distributing trust income – where consent of Guardian required for distribution – where Guardian did not know of her appointment as Guardian – held no distribution of trust income – disclaimers by default beneficiaries – whether disclaimers effective – effect of delay – third disclaimers were effective – whether disclaimers operated retrospectively for the purposes of s 97 of the Incom

Crown Melbourne Limited v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 1295

TAXATION – goods and services tax (GST) – appeal under s 14ZZ of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) against Commissioner’s GST assessments – casino junket arrangements – whether special rules in Div 126 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) (GST Act) apply to commission and win/loss rebates payable to or by junket tour operators – whether commission and win/loss rebates are severable from other amounts payable under junket arrangements – contractual arrangements between casinos and junket tour operators considered – application of s 126-10 of the GST Act – commission and win/loss rebates payable to or by junket tour operators constitute part of either consid

Cassaniti and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2020] AATA 3447

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – interlocutory application – extension of time – application for review of taxation objection decision – principles to be applied – acceptable explanation for the delay – resting on rights – prejudice – arguable case – where extension of time reasonable in all the circumstances – extension of time granted Full decision here

Zeqaj v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 1270

BANKRUPTCY – appeal from judgment of the Federal Circuit Court making a sequestration order against the appellant pursuant to s. 43 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth.) – where sequestration order based on default judgment debt that was unsuccessfully sought to be set aside by the appellant in proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria – where judgment debt based on amended assessments already objected to by the appellant and upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – whether the learned primary judge erred in making a sequestration order Full decision here

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