Category Archives: Taxation

Church of the New Faith v Commissioner of Pay-Roll Tax (Vic) (“Scientology case”) [1983] HCA 40

ON 27 OCTOBER 1983, the High Court of Australia delivered Church of the New Faith v Commissioner of Pay-Roll Tax (Vic) (“Scientology case”) [1983] HCA 40; (1983) 154 CLR 120 (27 October 1983).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1983/40.html

The High Court held that the Church of the New Faith was a religion in Victoria and therefore exempt from pay-roll tax.

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Scott v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [1966] HCA 48

Scott v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [1966] HCA 48; (1966) 117 CLR 514 (24 August 1966).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1966/48.html

A solicitor received 10,000 pounds gift from a client. Windeyer J accepted that the 10,000 pounds was a gift and not made or taken in discharge of an obligation. His Honour ruled that the gift was not assessable income as it was not remuneration or recompense for services rendered.

His Honour stated at 526-7:

“Whether or not a particular receipt is income depends upon its
quality in the hands of the recipient. It does not depend upon
whether it was a payment or provision that the payer or provider
was lawfully obliged to make. The ordinary illustrations of this are
gratuities regularly received as an incident of a particular
employment. On the other hand, gifts of an exceptional kind, not
such as are a common incident of a man’s calling or occupation, do not ordinarily form part of his income. Whether or not a
gratuitous payment is income in the hands of the recipient is thus
a question of mixed law and fact. The motives of the donor do not
determine the answer. They are, however, a relevant
circumstance.”

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Norman v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [1963] HCA 21

ON 25 JULY 1963, the High Court of Australia delivered Norman v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [1963] HCA 21; (1963) 109 CLR 9 (25 July 1963).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1963/21.html

A husband had voluntarily assigned to his wife the right to company dividends and interest on a debt payable at will. The court held that the dividends and interest were future property not capable of being assigned for consideration and were therefore to be assessed as taxable income of the husband.

Assignment is “the immediate transfer of an existing proprietary right, vested or contingent, from the assignor to the assignee” per Windeyer J at 26.

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South Australia v Commonwealth (“First Uniform Tax case”) [1942] HCA 14

ON 23 JULY 1942, the High Court of Australia delivered South Australia v Commonwealth (“First Uniform Tax case”) [1942] HCA 14; (1942) 65 CLR 373 (23 July 1942).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1942/14.html

The Commonwealth passed four Acts

  • Income Tax Act 1942, which imposed income tax as high as 90 percent, leaving no room for additional state income tax.
  • States Grants Act 1942, allowing grants to states who did not impose income tax.
  • Section 221 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1942, requiring Commonwealth taxes to be paid before state taxes.
  • the Income Tax (Wartime Arrangements) Act 1942, requiring the states to transfer to the Commonwealth all tax collection officers, offices, equipment and records.

The effect of the four acts was to put an end to the end of state income taxes.

The Act was challenged in the High Court by South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. The Court dismissed the actions, holding that the four pieces of legislation were valid.

The solicitor for the Commonwealth was Fred Whitlam, the father of the Honourable Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC, Prime Minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975.

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Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth)

ON 7 DECEMBER 1936, the Commonwealth Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 was enacted and commenced.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/itaa1936240

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Toomey’s Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation for NSW and Sydney Ferries Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation for NSW [1922] NSWStRp 37

Toomey’s Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation for NSW and Sydney Ferries Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation for NSW [1922] NSWStRp 37; (1922) 22 SR (NSW) 432 (4 July 1922)

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