Category Archives: Tax administration

Comparing private rulings: ATO discretion for non-commercial losses

Written by Adam Vickery. Recently, the ATO issued two private rulings dealing with the circumstances in which the Commissioner will exercise his discretion under s 35-55 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to allow taxpayers to deduct non-commercial losses, which would otherwise be quarantined and carried forward. Case 1: The agricultural business  (Authorisation Number: 1012673153223) A taxpayer had started a business related to the livestock industry. The business incurred losses in its first four years of operations but the taxpayer … Continue reading

Posted in Deductions, Losses, Primary production, Tax administration | Leave a comment

Government’s “Cutting Red Tape” repeals key to delivering organisational gains

Wolters Kluwer co-hosted, with The Group of 100 and KPMG, a Cutting Red Tape event attended by Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP. Wolters Kluwer, a global leader in tax, accounting and audit information, software and services for professionals, outlined key efficiency benefits for all organisations resulting from the Federal Government’s latest “Cutting Red Tape” program on 31 October 2014. With co-hosts, The Group of 100, the event hosted keynote speaker The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, … Continue reading

Posted in Legislation, Tax administration | Leave a comment

Employee share schemes: certainty to the indeterminate?

Contributed by Sarah Blakelock, Partner, Hayden Bentley, Partner and Melinda Peters, Senior Associate, McCullough Robertson Lawyers This article was published in CCH Tax Week, 881_41_2014. CCH iKnow has webpages containing relevant information including employee share schemes. The ATO recently released Draft Taxation Determination TD 2014/D16, providing guidance on the Commissioner’s view of the operation of the indeterminate rights rules in the context of employee share schemes (ESS). The timing of the acquisition of rights under the ESS rules continues to … Continue reading

Posted in shares, Tax administration | Leave a comment

ATO private binding rulings – trash or treasure?

CCH customers tell us they love the private binding rulings (PBRs) published on the ATO website. But how useful, and how risky, are they? Edited and anonymised versions of PBRs are freely available on However, each PBR carries this ominous warning: “Do not use the register to predict ATO policy or decisions”. If PBRs are publicly available, why is the ATO saying they carry so little value? Private rulings Any taxpayer or their advisor can ask for a private … Continue reading

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Deputy Tax Commissioner talks BEPS at CCH network lunch

In an address to the CCH Networks in Sydney, Deputy Commissioner Mark Konza spoke on the now dynamic space of international tax, particularly on the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action items discussed at the recent G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Cairns. Mr Konza noted the goals of the G20/OECD tax program was to ensure jurisdictions got their fair share of tax, based on the essential guiding principle that companies should pay tax in the country where real … Continue reading

Posted in Offshore, Part IVA, Reportable tax position, Tax administration, Tax Reform, Tax risks, transfer pricing | Leave a comment

ATO’s Project DO IT

Contributed by Philip de Haan, Partner and Yat To Lee, Senior Associate, Thomson Geer Lawyers The ATO has recently made changes to its website on Project DO IT. These changes clarify the broad eligibility criteria for taxpayers to obtain the amnesty from the ATO for omitted offshore income, capital gains and over-claimed deductions. They address the concern about whether Project DO IT applies to intentional and serious tax wrongdoings by taxpayers. The deadline for making the disclosure to the ATO … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign income, Offshore, Tax administration, Tax havens | Leave a comment

First OECD recommendations for global BEPS action

The OECD has released the first tranche of recommendations for a global approach to combat tax avoidance, in time for the G20 finance ministers meeting to be hosted by Joe Hockey on 20-21 September in Cairns. The recommendations are the product of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. The BEPS Action Plan, published in July 2013 listed 15 key elements (or Actions) to be addressed by 2015. The recommendations address seven of the key Actions and focus … Continue reading

Posted in Tax administration, Tax havens, transfer pricing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Election promises, one year on?

It’s a little over a year since the current government was elected in September 2013. What is the status of their election promises? Here is a snapshot showing the status, as of 5 September 2014, of tax-related measures announced as part of their election campaign. Measure Summary Status Not-for-profit entities The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) will be replaced with a smaller body. Introduced by Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No 1) Bill 2014 Announcement: Mr Tony Abbott’s address to … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, election 2013, superannuation, Tax administration, Tax Reform | Leave a comment

BEPS storm clouds gathering

Global action on international profit shifting is like a far-off storm where the rumble of thunder can just be heard but you know it’s heading in your direction. The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, released a fairly unremarkable statement on Thursday 4 September 2014 (Treasurer – Ministerial Statement on G20-OECD Tax and Transparency) but it contained some interesting points. The statement summarises what we already know about the government’s response to the avoidance of Australian tax by some multinational companies. The Treasurer … Continue reading

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ATO to audit professional firms on income splitting

The ATO has decided to release draft guidelines on how it will assess the risk of Pt IVA applying to the allocation of profits by professional firms to individual professional practitioners with proprietorship in the firm (Assessing the risk: allocation of profits within professional firms). The release of the guidelines before their finalisation appears intended to allow the ATO to commence compliance activity, including audits, of practitioners for the 2014/15 income tax year and later years. The guidelines potentially have … Continue reading

Posted in Tax administration, Tax risks | Leave a comment


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