On behalf of the Institute, Grant Wardell-Johnson (KPMG) and Tony Stolarek (Ernst and Young) participated in an ATO Part IVA workshop on 18 July, to consider a range of scenarios in relation to the operation of the general anti-avoidance rules in Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 as recently amended (in relation to the identification of and analysis of tax benefits). The discussion was initiated by the professional bodies at the National Tax Liaison Group meeting on 22 March 2013, to enable the ATO to consider the next steps for development of guidance in addition to the existing materials including the practice statement dealing with the application of Part IVA, PS LA 2005/24.
The scenarios were very minimal in terms of the facts identified, and were designed to stimulate discussion about the application of Part IVA. It was assumed for purposes of the Part IVA discussion that the tax outcomes of the scenarios (excluding the application of Part IVA) were achieved.
The discussion was at an informal preliminary level, not binding the ATO, to assist to identify the guidance products which might need to arise, which may possibly use some of the scenarios as examples. No preliminary analyses were produced. The ATO are now checking some of the issues that arose during the discussion, particularly some of the earlier rulings and guidance that may be relevant, and synthesising the principles arising out of the discussions along with, where possible, particular factual considerations or variations that might be relevant when it comes to considering live examples of some of the scenarios against their full factual context.
The discussion was a very positive one and the new Chief Tax Counsel, Robert Olding, who chaired the meeting, thanked the professional bodies for their very significant contribution which exceeded his expectations.