Don't try and avoid the tax man!
Written on the 19 March 2012 by Macmillans Waller Fry - Accountants
The Government has announced that it will amend the general anti-avoidance provisions in the tax law. First introduced in 1981, the provisions broadly allow the Commissioner to cancel a tax benefit obtained in connection with a scheme subject to some conditions. According to the Government, the changes will ensure the provisions will continue to be effective in countering tax avoidance schemes that are carried out as part of broader commercial transactions. The announcement was made on 1 March 2012 and the Government proposed that the changes would apply to schemes entered into or carried out after that date.
Some commentators have expressed alarm over the Government's announcement, saying the move will only cause greater uncertainty for businesses when considering key transactions and that it is an overreaction to the Commissioner's recent court case losses. In particular, the arguments have centred on the announced retrospective start date of 1 March 2012 with little detail on the proposed changes. The Government said it intends to release draft legislation for public consultation before introducing the amendments in Parliament later this year.
Author: Macmillans Waller Fry - Accountants
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