TABL5551 Taxation Law - 2021

Term 1
6 Units of Credit
On Campus and Online
Accounting Auditing & Tax
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

The complexity of the Australian taxation system means that tax considerations are of major importance in most business and investment decisions. After briefly outlining tax policy considerations, this course concentrates on the substantive and technical income tax rules in Australia. Topics include:

  • concept of income and assessable income, including capital gains;
  • allowable deductions including the general deduction rule;
  • deductions under the capital allowance regimes;
  • deduction regimes that either supplement the general deduction rule or deny a deduction;
  • tax treatment of trading stock;
  • taxation of income made through partnerships, trusts and corporations;
  • a broad introduction to the cross border operation of the Australian income tax;
  • brief coverage of the goods and services tax (GST) and fringe benefits tax (FBT).

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​The aim of this course is for you to understand and be able to apply relevant Australian tax legislation, cases, rulings and principles, to the solution of typical tax-related professional problems.

Pre-Requisites or Co-Requisites

Either one of the following courses are pre-requisites for this course:
  • TABL 5511 - Legal Foundations of Business
  • TABL 5512 - Legal Foundations for Accountants

If students choose to study either TABL 5511 (Legal Foundations of Business) or TABL 5512 (Legal Foundations for Accountants) as a co-requisite for other law courses with the School of Taxation & Business Law, it is strongly recommended that the  course chosen is studied as a co-requisite with TABL 5541 (Corporations and Business Associations Law). The reason for this recommendation is that students would benefit from the incremental exposure to legal issues gained from studying these courses first (i.e. before studying TABL 5551).

Relationships to other Courses

There is a strong relationship between generally accepted accounting principles (GAAPs) and Australia’s taxation rules. For example, it is arguable that understanding tax-effect accounting is made easier when one appreciates the taxation rules that create timing differences. Further, while some differences will always remain, there is a discernible trend towards the accounting and tax rules converging.

One theme of this course is to build awareness of the similarities between the tax rules and the accounting rules. Indeed, identifying areas of similarity between the tax rules and the accounting rules (e.g. treatment of trading stock, treatment of depreciable assets) can provide a substantial aid in building understanding of the tax rules, as our study of some of the tax rules builds on your prior knowledge and experience. Nonetheless the tax rules are often set out in detail in legislation and in some instances differ from the accounting rules even when they produce an equivalent end result.

The tax law influences investment decisions, investment patterns and the structure of financial products. Indeed, it would be a very unusual occurrence for tax advice not to be sought in regard to any major investment decision. Further, some financial products predominantly exist because of the taxation law rules. Accordingly, this course provides an excellent knowledge base for those of you studying a major in finance or contemplating a career in financial services.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeMsKathrin BainRoom 3075, Quadrangle Building
By appointment
TutorMsSmita KhakharTo be advised
By appointment

In accordance with official UNSW policy, you should only make contact with teaching staff through their official UNSW email address. Please include both your name and student number in all correspondence.,

Administrative Matters

You should contact the lecturer-in-charge (Kathrin Bain) for any administrative issue(s) concerning the course. Before sending an email enquiry, please check this Course Outline as the answer to your query might be contained in this document.

Technical Enquiries about course material

Time permitting, if you have enquiries about course material, these can be addressed in the lecture or tutorial. If your question was not answered, please e-mail Kathrin with your question.  Kathrin will attempt to answer your technical tax questions over email, but please note that questions requiring longer answers are best handled through a discussion with you in person or over the phone.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

One philosophy of teaching and learning underpinning this course is one of problem based learning.  Students will be encouraged to apply tax law principles in the context of hypothetical situations raised in lectures, tutorial problems and a problem based assignment.  

Another philosophy of teaching and learning underpinning this course is to promote deep learning by examining the reasons why rules exist rather than merely examining the content of rules.  This will be done by examining the evolution of particular rules through a lecture program and tutorial problems that build incrementally.

Students will be encouraged to read widely and think critically about whether Australia’s taxation laws are consistent with tax policy objectives expressed by successive governments.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies


Lectures will be conducted online. In week 1 there will be 2 lectures of 2 hours duration. For weeks 2 to 5 there will be one lecture of 2 hours duration. There will be no lectures in week 6. For weeks 7 to 10 there will be one lecture of 2 hours duration each week.


Tutorials will be offered as face to face and online. Please note the tutorial program and content will be the same for both modes. Tutorials are 2 hours duration will be held in weeks 2 to 5 and 7 to 10. For students who have tutorials on a Friday, your regular tutorial will need to be rescheduled in Week 7 due to the Good Friday public holiday. Tutorials will consist of discussion of case studies and short discussion questions. Each student will have one case study allocated to them. Students are not expected to prepare written answers to the allocated case study but should be prepared to respond to questions that the tutor asks them in the relevant tutorial. Allocating case studies to students is to encourage discussion and to provide students with formative feedback.

5. Course Resources

Prescribed texts

Students must have access to:

  • R H Woellner, S Barkoczy, S Murphy, C Evans and D Pinto, Australian Taxation Law 2021, 31st edition, Oxford University Press.
In addition, students must have access to the relevant legislation. The legislation is available online via Austlii (, or the Federal Register of Legislation (  If you prefer a hard copy of the legislation, you can purchase a condensed version of the legislation which will contain the vast majority of legislative provisions we will be studying in this course:
  • Barkoczy, S, Core Tax Legislation and Study Guide 2021, 24th edition, Oxford University Press.

Tax law frequently changes so we recommend that you do not use older versions of these texts. If you do use older versions of the textbook or legislation, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are up to date and update them when any new material/legislative amendments etc.

Recommended texts

During the semester, we will be looking at a large number of cases. A taxation casebook that provides summary of a number of major cases in Australian taxation law will assist you in studying this course. It is recommended you purchase:

  • Barkoczy, S, Australian Tax Casebook, 15th edition (2020), Oxford University Press.

(Earlier editions would still be useful, but will not contain some of the more recent cases.

Online resources

Course materials will be uploaded to Moodle.

The following sites will be useful resources:

  • Austlii
  • Australian Taxation Office(Use the Legal Database to access Taxation Ruling)
  • CCH Database (via UNSW Library)
  • Treasury
  • Board of Taxation (major reports on particular topics)
  • Parliament House (good for bills, explanatory memorandum, and 2nd reading speeches)

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

The School and the faculty actively responds to this feedback. For example, this course originally did not offer separate tutorials, which students thought would be helpful to work through case studies. The mid-semester exam has been replaced with an online quiz held earlier in the term so students are aware earlier in the term if they need additional assistance.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 15 February 2021Lecture, no tutorials

Note, there is 4-hours of lecture time this week. For the rest of the term, the lecture is 2-hours per week.

  • Course administration
  • Introduction to the Australian tax system
  • Tax calculations
  • Income - key concepts


No tutorials this week. Tutorials commence in Week 2 of term and continue every week (aside from Week 6).

The material and the problems discussed in the tutorial reflects material covered in previous lectures and readings relating to previous lectures

Week 2: 22nd February 2021Lecture, tutorials
  • Income (continued)



  • Tutorials commence this week
Week 3: 1 March 2021Lecture, tutorials
  • Capital gains tax
Week 4: 8 March 2021Lecture, tutorials
  • Deductions - general
  • Online quiz
Week 5: 15 March 2021Lecture, tutorials
  • Deductions - Specific Deduction provisions
  • Capital allowances


Week 6: 22 March 2021Reading Week; no lecture and no tutorial this week

There is no lecture this week

There is no tutorial this week

Week 7: 29 March 2021Lecture, tutorials
  • Taxation of entities - partnerships and trusts


Week 8: 5 April 2021Lecture, tutorials
  • Taxation of companies
  • Assignment due this week (7 April, 12:00pm)
Week 9: 12 April 2021Lecture, tutorials
  • GST
Week 10: 3 August 2020Lecture, tutorials
  • Fringe benefits tax
  • Anti-avoidance provisions


8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333