The income tax rules studied in this course are derived from legislation and case law. In addition, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) rulings and ATO practice also provide useful and substantial guidance on the operation of Australia’s income tax rules (and these rulings can effectively become the tax law in certain situations: see Week 1 lecture).
Prescribed materials are books that you must have ready and ongoing access to so that, for example, you can underline, annotate, etc.
Subject to one overriding comment, we recommend that you do not purchase or use an old edition of any of the prescribed materials - aspects of the taxation law can change dramatically from one year to the next, and an old edition may be out-of-date on important points.
The overriding comment is that you should only use old editions if you are prepared to do the detailed (and time consuming) work of incorporating into the old edition all amendments, new cases and other developments etc, which have occurred since the date of the old edition.
Given that the Final Examination is an open book examination, you can if you wish underline, annotate, etc, your textbook or other prescribed materials from the start of the course. However, the Class Test is a closed book test, and you cannot use any reference or other resources during that test.
The main piece(s) of legislation studied in the course are the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997). We also examine parts of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (FBTAA) and the Taxation Administration Act 1953.
Reference is made to the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) for the lecture in Week 10 on the goods and services tax (GST).
Most of the legislative materials required for this course are contained in S Barkoczy, Core Tax Legislation & Study Guide 2019, 22nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2019.
It should be noted that a small number of legislative references in the Lecture Program, Reading Program and Study Guide have not been reproduced in the Core Tax Legislation & Study Guide 2019. In such cases, you are responsible for locating those legislative provisions. The full text of the relevant legislation is available on the CCH database, which can be accessed via the UNSW library website. The Thomson Reuters database, also accessible through the UNSW library, also has the full legislation, as does the comlaw website and the ATO website.
- R H Woellner, S Barkoczy, S Murphy, C Evans and D Pinto, Australian Taxation Law 2019, 29th ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2019
- Stephen Barkoczy, Australian Tax Casebook, 15th ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2018.
Note: You are able to purchase the Core Tax Legislation & Study Guide 2019, Australian Taxation Law 2019 and the Australian Tax Casebook 2018 in the “Core Student Taxpak” from the Bookshop at UNSW, and it may be cheaper to purchase these three books collectively in a Taxpak, rather than purchasing them separately.
If purchasing other texts or casebooks, ensure (subject to the comments above) that you obtain the latest edition published.
Additional Texts, Casebooks
- J Taylor, M Walpole, M Burton, T Ciro, and I Murray, Understanding Taxation Law 2017, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, Chatswood, 2017
- Julie Cassidy, Concise Income Tax, 5th ed., The Federation Press, Leichhardt, 2010
- Kerrie Sadiq, Cynthia Coleman, Principles of Taxation Law 2016, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, 2016
- M Kobetsky, R Krever, A O’Connell and M Stewart, Income Tax: Text, Materials and Essential Cases, 7th ed., The Federation Press, Leichhardt, 2008
- P Burgess, G S Cooper, M Stewart and R J Vann, Cooper, Krever & Vann’s Income Taxation: Commentary and Materials, 7th ed., Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, 2012
- R L Deutsch, M L Friezer, I G Fullerton, P J Hanley and T J Snape, The Australian Tax Handbook 2017, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, 2017
- R Krever, Australian Taxation Law Cases 2016, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, 2016
Note, there may be later versions of the above books. These books can be very helpful when researching your answer to the long assignment.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Rulings
The ATO has published a number of Public and (edited) Private Rulings on Australia’s income tax, fringe benefits tax and the goods and services tax. These rulings provide readers with the ATO’s view on various aspects of the respective taxes and, in some cases, are binding (effectively become the law) on the ATO. This will be discussed in the Week One lecture. They are a valuable source of information. Indeed, a number of rulings are referred to in the prescribed textbook.
In addition, some rulings are listed in the Lecture Program, Reading Program and Study Guide as important readings. The rulings are available on the ATO’s website, yet strangely they can be accessed quicker through the google search engine.
There are a number of journals relevant to domestic taxation law published in Australia. They include:
- Taxation in Australia
- The Tax Specialist
- Australian Tax Review
- The Journal of Australian Taxation
- Revenue Law Journal
- Australian Tax Forum and
- e-Journal of Tax Research.
These journals contain articles on Australia’s income tax regime, as well as the fringe benefits tax. You are not required to read any of the articles in these journals for the purpose of lectures or tutorials. However, it could be useful to identify and read relevant articles in such journals to support your answer to some issues in the Assignment.
Note that Taxation in Australia is available to you electronically for free if you take out student membership of The Tax Institute (TI). Student membership of the Tax Institute is free for full-time postgraduate students.
The UNSW library subscribes to several electronic databases. Of particular relevance to this course are the CCH and the Thomson Reuters databases on tax publications (e.g. legislation, cases, ATO rulings services, tax commentary services).
The UNSW library database can be accessed either on Level One of the Law Library, or via the UNSW website. As a UNSW student, you are entitled to use this database.
It should also be noted that the library also has hard copies of most tax reports listed in this course outline. As a general comment, you are not required to read the full case(s) in the tax reports or law reports.
Be cautious if you decide to use the Australasian Legal Information Institute website for tax legislation. On a number of occasions, admittedly some years ago, this website did not contain up-to-date tax legislation.
Hardcopies of Tax Cases
Note also that hardcopies of most tax cases, not only CCH cases, are available in the law library. In fact, this is the only way to access cases reported in Australian Tax Decisions (ATDs); ATDs are not available on line. Note again the point made above about generally not having to read the full case in a tax report.
All the course documents (including this Course Outline) for this course are available on Moodle.