Editors Update

The Journal of Australian Taxation is a peer reviewed scholarly journal publishing articles on all issues relating to taxation.

Under new editors John McLaren (Charles Darwin University) and John Passant (Australian National University) the Journal will continue its broad scope. It will embrace discussions on any aspect of taxation from any jurisdiction. The new editors would like to acknowledge the former editorship of Keith Kendall and thank him for his excellent service to the Journal.

The 2016 edition will be published by the end of February 2017. From 2017 the Journal will be open source and available online.

CALL FOR PAPERS

The editors are now calling for submissions. There is no deadline. Submissions will be received at any time during the year and once refereed and accepted the relevant article will be published online as part of the volume for that year. Any methodology is acceptable, including but not limited to legal, economic, accounting, critical, empirical and comparative approaches.

Articles between 8,000 and 12,000 words are preferred and it is unlikely that submissions of less than 5,000 words would be accepted. They must be written in accordance with the latest edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (a new edition will be available sometime in 2017)

For more information or to make a submission contact John McLaren at john.mclaren@cdu.edu.au or John Passant at john.passant@anu.edu.au

AVAILABILITY OF THE JOURNAL

There are no fees or charges associated with submitting to or publishing in this journal.

This is now an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or there institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.

The journal is also available in a printed format if the author requires a printed copy for accreditation purposes.


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VOLUME 19, ISSUE 1 – BARRETT

WHY THE AUSTRALASIAN TRADITION OF LABOUR DEFENCE IS A BARRIER TO A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME

By Jonathan Barrett

The principle of work protection or labour defence has traditionally informed welfare policy in Australasia. By promoting full employment and ensuring employees earn a living wage, government could foster economic security for the unionised workingman and his family. Nordic-style social insurance schemes, which were designed to shelter citizens from market uncertainties, were, in the main, unnecessary. In this patriarchal set up, protected and adequately paid workers could support their families, but could also afford to pay income tax and thereby contribute to the support of superannuated workers. Despite the dominance of neoliberalism, vestiges of labour defence, which privileges the status of employment over a broader conception of inclusive citizenship, continue to inform welfare. Responses to global mega trends, including technologically induced job retrenchment, may require a change in cultural attitudes to work and welfare. This article, which has a specific jurisdictional focus on New Zealand but has wider relevance, argues the tradition of labour defence presents a barrier to inclusive, citizenship-based welfare. In particular, cultural attitudes may militate against a universal basic income, which many believe will become a necessity in the face of potential mass retrenchment caused by robotics.

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VOLUME 19, ISSUE 1 – STERN

DIGITAL CURRENCY:
MAY BE A ‘BIT PLAYER’ NOW, BUT IN THE LONGER TERM A ‘GAME CHANGER’ FOR TAX

By Steven Stern

The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, has announced that the tax system is one of the key levers the government has to promote economic activity, and that tax is at the centre of the whole productivity agenda. This article draws attention to the major ramifications of technological developments in the monetary field for the capacity of governments to control the economic agenda, including tax. is the definition of ‘money’ is changing, and it might not be prudent for governments and their advisers to assume that levers to control the composition of tax which existed in the twentieth century will continue to be available in the coming decades of the twenty first century.

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Volume 18 Issue 1 Published

Issue Editorial

The Journal of Australian Taxation has always adopted a policy of publishing articles on a wide range of tax topics. This volume is no exception. It contains seven articles from tax practitioners and academics on Australian and New Zealand tax issues.

The articles in this volume deal with a wide range of topics. Thus the first article, by Lisa Marriott and Dalice Sim, examines the attitude of over 3,000 New Zealand and Australian residents to tax evasion and welfare fraud. This is extremely timely in light of the controversial automated welfare overspending recovery program by Australian authorities. The respondents to the survey saw tax evasion as just as serious a crime as welfare fraud. This, the authors argue, conflicts with policy settings in both countries which treat welfare fraud as more serious than tax evasion. It has implications for policy makers and the judicial system alike.

In the second article Sunita Jogarajan examines the need for external scrutiny of the Australian Tax Office given the extent of the powers of the Commissioner of Taxation. The author argues that the current range of external bodies that have a role in scrutinising the ATO may be ineffective. Given the need for taxpayers to have certainty under the self‐assessment system, this article provides a thought‐provoking overview of the current situation.

Jonathan Nguyen in the third article looks at the Australian dividend imputation system and in particular the implications for corporations of a company tax rate reduction and the differential in the value of the imputation credits. It is a very timely discussion given the Australian Government’s drive to reduce the company tax rate.

Cyrus Thistleton is the author of a most comprehensive article on the general anti‐avoidance rule contained in Australia’s Goods and Services Tax legislation. In particular the author discusses the basis on which the Commissioner of taxation is empowered or required to cancel any tax benefit obtained by the taxpayer. This article is important reading for academics and tax practitioners who wish to increase their understanding of the GST GAAR.

The fifth article, by James Murray, examines the taxation consequences of companies making distributions to their shareholders by way of bonus shares; dividend reinvestment plans and profit distribution plans. The article is based on New Zealand taxation law and New Zealand’s imputation system and resident withholding tax.

The sixth article was written by David Jones, a retired tax academic from RMIT, and John Passant and John McLaren. It should be noted that this article was refereed and approved for publication prior to John McLaren and John Passant assuming the editorship of the journal. The article argues that the test of residence for a company not incorporated in Australia may be deemed to be a resident if its central management and control is in Australia without the need to show that it is also carrying on a business in Australia. This means that the ATO’s approach to this issue, contained in tax ruling TR 2004/14, may be open to serious doubt.

The last article in this edition, by Brian Dollery and Joseph Drew, illustrates the breadth of topics published in the Journal of Australian Taxation. The article critically examines the financial, efficiency and equity effects on councils and ratepayers as a result of the forced amalgamations of some local government councils in New South Wales. The article provides an excellent insight into this area of local government operations and the imposition of rates, which are a form of land tax.

Full publication

Journal of Australian Tax – Volume 18, Issue 1

Articles

COMPARISONS OF TAX EVASION AND WELFARE FRAUD:
HOW WELL DOES POLICY IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND REFLECT PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO THESE CRIMES?
By Lisa Marriott and Dalice Sim

REGULATING THE REGULATOR: ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE ATO’S EXTERNAL SCRUTINY ARRANGEMENTS By Sunita Jogarajan

A QUESTION OF THE INTEGRITY OF THE DIVIDEND IMPUTATION SYSTEM WHEN CORPORATE TAX RATE CHANGES: AN AUSTRALIAN STUDY By H. Khiem (Jonathan) Nguyen

WHEN IS THE COMMISSIONER EMPOWERED OR REQUIRED TO NEGATE A GST BENEFIT? By Cyrus Thistleton

OPTIONAL DISTRIBUTIONS UNDER NEW ZEALAND’S IMPUTATION AND RESIDENT WITHHOLDING TAX SYSTEMS By James Murray

DOUBTS ABOUT THE CENTRAL MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL RESIDENCY TEST FOR COMPANIES? By David Jones, John Passant and John McLaren

IN WHOSE INTEREST? AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT’S POST-AMALGAMATION RATE PATH FREEZE POLICY By Brian Dollery and Joseph Drew