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

UK Supreme Court considers test for dishonesty in criminal cases

The Supreme Court of England and Wales in its recent decision in Ivey v Genting Casinos [2017] UKSC 67 (“Ivey“) took the opportunity to reassess the approach in criminal cases to determining whether a defendant has acted dishonestly. The Supreme Court held that the “Ghosh test”, which excused a defendant who did not know that … Read more

AUSTRALIAN COURT HOLDS THAT UNSENT TEXT MESSAGE CAN ACT AS VALID WILL

The Queensland Supreme Court has held that an unsent text message written on a man’s mobile phone shortly before he died adequately captured his testamentary intention.  In doing so, the Court dispensed with the normal execution requirements of a will, and allowed the text message to be admitted to probate: Re Nichol; Nichol v Nichol [2017] … Read more

ENGLISH HIGH COURT FINDS SETTLOR RETAINED BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP

In the latest decision in the long running Pugachev dispute, the High Court considered the effect of five trusts set up by Mr Pugachev, and whether the trusts were shams. Birss J held that he would have been prepared to declare the five trusts shams, but on the true interpretation of the trust documents and … 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