Birchstone Brief for the week ended 27 May 2022

ATO Updates

Class Ruling

The ATO has issued CR 2022/46 – Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet – Early retirement scheme 2022-2023.

Guidance on donating crypto assets released

The ATO has released guidance to tax practitioners regarding things their clients need to consider if they are contemplating donating crypto assets.

Cases

Appeals

The taxpayers have appealed to the Full Federal Court against the decision in Hyder & Ors v FCT [2022] FCA 264. In that case, a single Justice of the Federal Court found that:

  • the Commissioner had acted oppressively in seeking to enforce payment of alternative assessments issued to multiple taxpayers regarding the same income for the same income years; and
  • the exercise of the Commissioner’s discretion had been tainted by legal error.

Legislation

Bills pass Lower House (Tas)

The Tasmanian House of Assembly has passed Bills that will introduce a foreign investor land tax surcharge and make amendments to the Duties Act 2001 (Tas) (Duties Act).

The Land Tax Amendment (Foreign Investors) Bill 2022 and the Land Tax Rating Amendment (Foreign Investors) Bill 2022 will, when they become law, amend the Land Tax Act 2000 (Tas) and the Land Tax Rating Act 2000 (Tas) to introduce a 2% foreign investor land tax surcharge from 1 July 2022.
Notably, the surcharge will apply to any interest in residential land that is:

  • acquired by a foreign person on or after 1 July 2022;
  • owned by a foreign company or trust that becomes foreign on or after 1 July 2022; or
  • acquired by a foreign person prior to 1 July 2022, in circumstances where that person acquires a further interest in the same land after 1 July 2022.

The surcharge will apply to the assessed land value of applicable land. Significantly, the thresholds in the Rating Act will not apply to the surcharge, such that it may be imposed even if no land tax is payable.

The Duties Amendment Bill 2022 amends the Duties Act to clarify the operation of the foreign investor duty surcharge. The amendments apply retrospectively from 1 July 2018. The Bill also contains amendments to ensure property purchases funded by non-interest based finance are only subject to duty once.

 

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