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  • Litigation

    The Commissioner received favourable or partly favourable decisions in 78% of all GST litigation decisions handed down in 2018–19. The Commissioner received two unfavourable decisions:

    1. Whether the Commissioner’s decision to cancel the taxpayer’s GST registration was correct (employee/contractor issue).
    2. Whether the taxpayer was entitled to apply the margin scheme to calculate the GST payable on the supply of new residential premises.

    Figure 16: GST litigation completed cases

    This graph provides the outcomes for 2017–18 financial year compared to the 2018–19 financial year. 2017–18 (59 cases): favourable 10%, unfavourable 5%, partly favourable 2%, conceded (whole or in part) 8%, settled 14%, withdrawn by taxpayer 29%, dismissed by court or AAT 27%, other 5%. 2018–19 (45 cases): favourable 14%, unfavourable 4%, partly favourable 2%, conceded (whole or in part) 40%, settled 9%, withdrawn by taxpayer 20%, dismissed by court or AAT 9%, other 2%.

    Matters of interest in 2018–19

    The number of GST litigation cases created increased by 28% this year. This can be attributed to more cases containing precious metals, and penalty and substantiation issues arising from GST evasion audits.

    At 30 June 2019, there were 16 current litigation cases relating to precious metal transactions; three of these have been heard with decisions reserved. These cases are likely to require ongoing significant litigation resources in 2019–20, and are being project managed within the ATO.

    The Commissioner appealed to the Full Federal Court against the unfavourable decision received in the significant Travelex Limited matter, and a decision on the matter is pending.

      Last modified: 01 Jul 2020QC 61031