The Australian Tax Office broadens its targeting of private groups

Having focused on the top 320 privately owned and wealthy groups (“Private Groups“) earlier this year, the Australian Tax Office (“ATO“) Tax Avoidance Taskforce team is about to take its next step and review the next 1,200 largest Private Groups. We set out further details below. Read more

Private Groups and Trusts under ATO scrutiny

The ATO in Australia continues to target privately owned and wealthy groups, with specific focus on groups with risky trust structures that exhibit characteristics of tax avoidance or evasion. Read more

Labor’s Family Trust Distribution Tax

In an audacious move to target income splitting, if elected, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has announced that it will introduce a minimum standard 30 per cent tax rate on all discretionary trust distributions made to beneficiaries over the age of 18 from 1 July 2019. Touted to tackle income inequality and enforce “fair taxation”, … Read more

A severe case of the penalties

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has handed down its decision in Peter Sleiman Investments Pty Limited as Trustee for The Sleiman Family Trust and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2017] AATA 999 (Sleiman). The decision is a timely reminder of the various powers that the Commissioner has to impose penalties on taxpayers. The case involved the … Read more

Trust law bites back against the Australian Tax Office

The recent decision of the Full Federal Court of Australia in Thomas v Commissioner of Taxation1 is a timely reminder of two points: tax results are often dictated by the rules of the non-tax world, and even unattractive cases sometimes win. We consider the decision further below. Read more

Australian Tax Office takes action on assurance for Private Groups

The Australian Tax Office’s ("ATO") focus on large privately owned and wealthy groups ("Private Groups") is in full swing with no sign of slowing down in the 2017 year. With the top 320 large Private Groups holding A$112 billion of net assets and A$122 billion in total business income (2014/2015 year), there is no doubt that … Read more

Tax transparency – a looming issue for Private Groups?

In efforts to increase the “public awareness of corporate tax issues,” tax transparency has been a popular policy option to “maintain public pressure on aggressive tax practices”. Whilst the focus has typically been on large multinationals, broader tax transparency measures that could apply to Private Groups are far from being ruled out. Read more