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79017 Taxation Law

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 76212 Revenue Law


This subject aims to develop students' conceptual and analytical skills and an appreciation of the Australian tax system. It provides a general analysis of the current tax system and consideration of the many changes it is presently undergoing. The course looks at the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, the Tax Law Reform Project and the New Tax System. Particular concepts to be considered include income and capital, assessable income, allowable deductions, capital gains tax, fringe benefits tax, goods and services tax, trusts, partnerships, tax accounting, tax planning and anti-avoidance provisions.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Understand and determine the taxable income of taxpayers and correctly calculate the tax payable thereon.
2. Critically analyse and appreciate the economic, social and legal issues arising from differing taxes.
3. Understand the differences between: allowable and non-allowable deductions, different capital gains events and the effect of rebates on taxable income.
4. Identify the impact of taxation on different forms of business structures.
5. Communicate knowledge of taxation law clearly, both in writing and orally, and be open to critical analysis of own and others’ ideas.
6. Interpret relevant taxation legislation and rules accurately and apply to problem scenarios.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Legal Knowledge
    A coherent understanding of fundamental areas of legal knowledge, including the Australian legal system, social justice, cultural and international contexts and the principles and values of ethical practice (LAW.1.0)
  • Critical Analysis and Evaluation
    A capacity to think critically, strategically and creatively, including an ability to identify and articulate legal issues, apply reasoning and research, engage in critical analysis and make reasoned choices (LAW.3.0)
  • Communication and Collaboration
    Effective and appropriate communication skills, including highly effective use of the English language, an ability to inform, analyse, report and persuade using an appropriate medium and message and an ability to respond appropriately (LAW.5.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1: Preparing for professional practice in taxation law

By completing readings and preparatory work prior to each class, students establish a strong foundational understanding of key issues and controversies of taxation law. Preparation allows students to better engage with complex content. As part of preparation, students are required to respond to questions prior to class. Students receive ongoing feedback on their understanding of core concepts by active participation in class discussion, which involves engaging with the teacher and peers.

Online learning and preparation occurs from Week 1 onwards. Online materials will include précis outlining sources of law, research skills in accessing tax materials, jurisdictional issues such as residence and source, and constitutional power to tax.

Strategy 2: Developing critical analysis through research of case law, tax rules and legislation

Students undertake research of relevant legislation, tax rules and case law. Research is synthesised and summarised by students and applied in practically-oriented hypotheticals and problems. Essential to student learning is mastery of literacy and numeracy skills, allowing students to analyse facts, explain assumptions and determining taxpayer liability. This will also involve a development of students’ ability to apply law alongside mathematical calculation to produce reliable numerical and legal outcomes.

Strategy 3: Active learning through problem solving

To effectively grasp the core concepts of taxation law, students are encouraged to actively engage with problems throughout the subject. Active learning is the only way to test and amend understanding of tax rules, case law and legislation, based on regular feedback during class. By responding to preparatory questions and completing assessable problem questions, students are able to actively learn how to reliably calculate tax liability for hypothetical clients. This process may involve determining assessable income, and understanding how this is determined, as well as specific and general deductions. Other core concepts such as trading stock, accounting methods and timing, bad debts and capital gains tax calculations are tested and mastered by applying knowledge through problem solving.

Strategy 4: Feedback to encourage critical reflection and self-improvement

Feedback is provided throughout the session by teachers and peers. Feedback comes in a number of forms, including responses to completed preparatory questions and discussion during class. Students are also encouraged to deepen their understanding of subject content by posing questions to teachers and peers throughout the session. Formal feedback is provided by teachers for each assessment. Informal feedback is provided via in class and online discussion with peers and the teacher.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to the Taxation System
  • Calculation of Income Tax
  • Residence and Source
  • Assessable Income (Ordinary Income and Statutory Income)
  • Fringe Benefits Tax
  • Goods and Services Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Deductions (General and Specific)
  • Trading Stock
  • Tax Accounting
  • Small Business Entity System
  • Sole Traders
  • Taxation of Partnerships
  • Taxation of Trusts & Superannuation
  • Taxation of Companies and Shareholders
  • Taxation Administration
  • Tax Planning and Anti-Avoidance


Assessment task 1: Tutorial Participation


Through participation in tutorials, students will benefit from ongoing peer and staff feedback in relation to their understanding of the designated material, presentation of ideas and arguments, and problem-solving skills.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.0, LAW.3.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 10%

approx 0.5 - 1 min per oral contribution (nominal)

  • Coming to class prepared with relevant contributions which evidence prior reading/preparation (SLO 1, 2, 3; GA 1)
  • Consistent high-quality participation in tutorial discussions of the problem exercises (SLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; GA 5)
  • Consistent high quality contributions to small group discussion (SLO 1, 2, 3, 5; GA 5)
  • The ability to verbally express ideas in an orderly, clear, logical and succinct manner (SLO 1, 2, 3, 5; GA 5)
  • The ability to deal with questions, counter arguments and interjections, and promote and/or participate in discussion. (SLO 5; GA 3, 5)
  • Displaying respect for other class members in your contributions and counter-arguments. (SLO 5; GA 5)
  • Problem-solving skills and application of key legal principles. (SLO 6; GA 3)

Assessment task 2: Research Assignment


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.0, LAW.3.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 40%

1500 words (maximum word limit) not including references.

  • Comprehension of the task (identifying relevant issues and demonstrating understanding of the task). Students may need to undertake independent research to understand the issues involved, which requires self-management. (SLO 1, 2, 3, 4; GA 1, 3)
  • Identification, interpretation and application of the relevant legislation, case law and tax rulings. (SLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; GA 1)
  • Critical analysis and development of arguments (identify, comprehend and evaluate relevant legal and factual issues as applied to the problem, ability to determine and assess strong and weak arguments and arrive at a reasoned conclusion). (SLO 2, 5 6; GA 3)
  • Presentation / written expression (including correct spelling and grammar, and correct referencing). (SLO 5; GA 5)

Assessment task 3: Final Examination (Open Book)


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.0 and LAW.3.0

Weight: 50%

2 hours (plus 10 minutes reading time); 2,000 words (nominal)

  • Communicating assumptions and arguments regarding tax liability. (SLO 1, 2, 4, 5; GA 5)
  • Determining accurate calculations of taxation liability. (SLO 1, 3, 4, 6: GA 1)
  • Reflecting an understanding of fringe benefits tax, basic principles of GST and the impact of taxation on different business structures. (SLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 6; GA 1)
  • Critically analysing economic, social and legal issues which impact the calculation of taxation. (SLO 2; GA 3)

Required texts

Required Text:

  • R H Woellner, S Barkoczy, S Murphy, C Evans and D Pinto, Australian Taxation Law 2018, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 28th edition

Students are required to complete prescribed readings prior to each class. The prescribed readings are listed in the Reading Guide which is available on UTSOnline.

Required Legislation:

Students are required to have an up to date (2018) version of the income tax legislation and should bring it to every class.

Required legislation either-

  • Core Tax Legislation & Study Guide (Oxford University Press) (latest edition);


  • Fundamental Tax Legislation (Thomson Reuters) (latest edition)

Cases, Rulings and additional statutory materials:

Recommended texts

  • Stephen Barkoczy, Australian Tax Casebook, 14th ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne


  • Australian Tax Handbook 2018, Thomson Reuters
  • Master Tax Guide 2018, 62nd Edition Wolters Kluwer
  • Principles of Taxation Law 2017, Sadiq, Coleman et ors, Thomson Reuters,
  • Tax Questions and Answers 2017, Hodgson et ors, Thomson Reuters
  • Australian Tax 2017, Paul Kenny, LexisNexis

Case Books:

  • Australian Tax Analysis: Cases, Commentary, Commercial Applications and Questions, Coleman, Hart, et al, latest Edition, Thomson Reuters
  • Australian Taxation Law Cases, Krever, Latest Edition, Thomson Reuters

Study Guides:

  • Master Tax Examples, latest Edition CCH
  • Successful Tax Study latest edition, Obst, and Hanegbi, Thomson ATP
  • Australian Taxation Study Manual: Questions and Suggested Solutions, Nethercott, Richardson and Devos, latest edition CCH


  • Australian GST Handbook latest edn, Hill,Thomson Reuter
  • GST Legislation Plus latest edition, Richard Krever, Thomson Reuter
  • Australian GST Legislation with Overview latest edition, CCH
  • Australian Master GST Guide latest edition, Philip McCouat, CCH


  • Australian Federal Tax Reporter, CCH, (Looseleaf Service)
  • Financial Planning latest edition, Monahan and Perkins, LexisNexis
  • FBT: A Practical Guide latest edition, CCH
  • Australian FBT Handbook Koit, O’Flynn & Fitton,Thomson Reuter
  • Capital Gains Tax, Wilson, Thomson ATP, (Looseleaf Service)
  • Australian Superannuation Handbook, Jones, latest edition, Thomson Reuter
  • Legal Research & Writing, Tjaden,Latest Edition, Federation Press
  • LexisNexis Study Guide: Trusts, Barkehall Thomas & Vann,Latest Edition, LexisNexis Online


An important area of this subject involves the skill of finding appropriate legislation, tax rulings and cases. To assist you we will make available on UTSOnline a number of links to important sites. During lectures and tutorials, students will be informed where cases may be found. Students are also expected to use the UTS Library and the internet.

Internet-based Legal Resources


This is probably the best site for this subject, being the homepage of the Australian Tax Office.


AustLII is a full-text Australian and World Case Law and Legislation Database jointly owned and operated by the faculties of law of UTS and UNSW.


Business Review Weekly’s website. Online access to one of Australia’s best Business and Law magazines, including an excellent law section with access to BRW’s legal articles and law notes written in conjunction with Freehills.


LawPortal is an Internet-based legal resources navigator offering access to AustLII, SCALE plus, daily Australia-wide court listings, as well as links to all major national newspapers.


SCALEplus is the legal information retrieval service owned by the Australian Attorney General’s Department.


American legal resource website.


American legal resource website.

Other resources



The UTS Library has a wide range of services and resources that you will find useful, including law reports, law journals, textbooks, and access to online resources

Relevant materials in this subject may also be available on Closed Reserve, which is a special borrowing service that allows you to use the material for two hours or overnight, to ensure the materials are available to many students.

Materials on closed reserve are listed in the library catalogue by subject details and Subject Coordinator.