Container Homes Designer Domain Pty Ltd v FCT  AATA 1815 – AAT rules part payment of a contract was not a deposit
The AAT has held that the payment of 50% of a total contract price upon entry into that contract was not a deposit within the meaning of Division 99 of the GST Act. As such, the taxpayer (who was the supplier under the contract) was not liable for GST as a result of its customer’s decision to unilaterally cancel the contract but allow the taxpayer to keep the deposit. In making its decision, the Tribunal commented that a payment should not be easily inferred as a deposit without good reason and placed significance on the fact that:
- the amount of money paid was substantial; and
- the contractual documents described the payment as an advance as opposed to a deposit.
Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd v FCT  FCA 680 – Federal Court confirms insurance company’s overhead expenses were partly creditable
The Federal Court has confirmed that, to the extent an Australian life insurance company’s overhead expenses related to its GST-free supplies of reinsurance services, those expenses were partly creditable. The Court also accepted that, subject to one modification, the company’s method of apportionment was ‘fair and reasonable’ in the circumstances.
Mylan Australia Holding Pty Ltd v FCT  FCA 672 – Commissioner wins discovery dispute in Part IVA proceedings
The Commissioner has been successful in obtaining discovery orders against a corporate taxpayer in preparation for a Part IVA dispute involving disallowed interest expense deductions. The documents in question concerned tax modelling analysis and the taxpayer’s (an Australian subsidiary of a multinational group) capacity to service debt.
In ordering discovery of the relevant documents, the Federal Court ruled that, contrary to the taxpayer’s arguments:
- neither the tax modelling documents nor documents evidencing debt servicing capacity were irrelevant merely due to being subjective in nature; and
- the relevant documents could also be used to determine the manner in which the scheme that was entered into or carried out.
BSA Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue  NSWCATAP 159 – Company liable for payroll tax
The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal has held that subcontracting arrangements regarding the supply and installation of pay TV and broadband equipment and the making of service calls were ‘relevant contracts’ subject to NSW payroll tax.
Gogulan v Chief Commissiner of State Revenue  NSWCATAD 162 – Taxpayer denied NSW land tax principal place of residence exemption
This case considers what it means for a property to be continually used and occupied for residential purposes and for no other purpose to qualify as a principal place of residence and therefore be exempt from NSW land tax.
Wei v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue  NSWCATAD 161 – Foreign property owners denied exemption from surcharge land tax
The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal has confirmed the fact that foreign property owners were absent from Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions was irrelevant to the question of whether they were subject to surcharge land tax. As such, they were not exempt from the surcharge as neither of them were Australian residents nor ordinarily resident in Australia during the relevant land tax years.
Oliver Hume Property Funds (Broad Gully Rd) Diamond Creek Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue  VCAT 634 – Investors’ acquisitions aggregated for landholder duty purposes
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has held that shares separately acquired by independent and unrelated investors in a landholder as part of a capital raise together formed, evidenced, gave effect to or arose from substantially one arrangement, transaction or series of transactions and were therefore aggregated for landholder duty purposes.
Nguyen v Commissioner of State Revenue  VCAT 694 – Foreign purchaser liable for additional duty in respect of property transfer
This case dealt with multiple properties which were transferred jointly to the taxpayer and a foreign purchaser, with the final decision being that the transfers were liable for foreign purchaser additional duty.