Taxation determinations as de facto regulation : private equity exits in Australia

Cao, Robin, Chapple, Larelle June, & Sadiq, Kerrie (2014) Taxation determinations as de facto regulation : private equity exits in Australia. Australian Tax Review, 43(2), pp. 118-141.

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Abstract

The Australian Taxation Office (AT)) attempted to challenge both the private equity fund reliance on double tax agreements and the assertion that profits were capital in nature in its dispute with private equity group TPG. Failure to resolve the dispute resulted in the ATO issuing two taxation determinations: TD 2010/20 which states that the general anti-avoidance provisions can apply to arrangements designed to alter the intended effect of Australia's international tax agreements net; and TD 2010/21 which states that the profits on the sale of shares in a company group acquired in a leveraged buyout is assessable income. The purpose of this article is to determine the effectiveness of the administrative rulings regime as a regulatory strategy. This article, by using the TPG-Myer scenario and subsequent tax determinations as a case study, collects qualitative data which is then analysed (and triangulated) using tonal and thematic analysis. Contemporaneous commentary of private equity stakeholders, tax professionals, and media observations are analysed and evaluated within a framework of responsive regulation and utilising the current ATO compliance model. Contrary to the stated purpose of the ATO rulings regime to alleviate complexities in Australian taxation law and provide certainty to taxpayers, and despite the de facto law status afforded these rulings, this study found that the majority of private equity stakeholders and their advisors perceived that greater uncertainty was created by the two determinations. Thus, this study found that in the context of private equity fund investors, a responsive regulation measure in the form of taxation determinations was not effective.

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ID Code: 71786
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: tax determinations, de facto regulation, private equity
ISSN: 0311-094X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Taxation Law (180125)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Deposited On: 19 May 2014 22:31
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 00:01

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