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Australian Taxation Law: Cases

Finding ALL cases on a topic

The  reports and databases listed in the box below have selective coverage - that is, not all cases are included. To find all Australian tax cases on a topic, and to find the MOST RECENT cases, use BarNet JADE's Advanced Search (open access) to search for cases on a particular tax topic. Either:

  • choose the broad topic of 'Taxation and Revenue' in the Topic box and narrow your search by eg: date, jurisdiction, court etc, or
  • use the Text field, type your search term and select eg: 'catchwords' from the dropdown menu. You can narrow the search by jurisdiction, or court, date etc.

Specialist Tax Case Databases & Casebooks

There are several Australian specialist tax report series and databases that include selected cases on all tax matters - these are usually arranged by court and date, and can be searched by keywords:

  • The ATO Legal Database (open access):

    • Cases includes decisions from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), Commonwealth Courts and State Supreme Courts - arranged by court and then year. It also includes Decision Impact Statements by the Commissioner of Taxation.

    • Case Decision Summaries - arranged by topic

  • Australian Tax Decisions (ATD) (1927-1969) and Australian Tax Cases (ATC) (1969 to current) on CCH (UniMelb staff & student access)

  • Australian GST and Relevant Tax Cases (AAT and Court decisions - 1941 to current) on CCH (UniMelb staff & student access)

  • Australian Tax Reports (ATR) (vol 1 (1969)) to current) on WestlawAu (UniMelb staff & student access)

  • Checkpoint Cases (UniMelb staff & student access) include:

    • GST Cases - all GST-related cases that have been reported in the Australian Tax Reports

    • recent unreported GST cases and unreported tax cases that will end up in  Australian Tax Reports. These cases can be searched (but only as a free text search in the full text of the case), or browsed by eg: year, court etc. To browse, scroll to the bottom of the search screen.

    • Latest Tax & GST Headnotes - part of the Australian Tax Reports online service. It provides users with access to headnotes for recent tax and GST decisions by the High Court, Federal Court, Supreme Courts, District Courts, and relevant state and federal tribunals. The headnotes are published as soon as they're available, prior to their publication in the Australian Tax Reports.

  • See also up to date tax casebooks, which typically provide the basic facts of  cases and critical parts of the judgments. For example, see: 

Finding Cases on Legislative Provisions

To find cases that interpret or discuss specific legislation and / or legislative provisions in Commonwealth, State and Territory Acts:

1. Use CASES databases in the following resources to search for the provision / section:

  • FIRSTPOINT on Westlaw Au (UniMelb staff & student access) - on the search screen use the Legislation Cited (Title) and Legislation Cited (Provision) search boxes. You can also narrow the search to court, date, words in the text, etc.
  • Lexis Advance (UniMelb staff & student access) - select Search: Everything >> AU Cases from the search box >> Advanced Search. Type your legislative provision in the Legislation Judicially Considered field eg: "Goods and Services" w/5 9-5. You can also narrow the search to court, date, words in the text, etc.

 

2. Use LEGISLATION databases and print tools that provide access to cases on each provision:

 

  • LawOne on Timebase (UniMelb staff & student access) - use browse or search to navigate to the specific Act and then the section. If there are any cases on this section, there will be a CASES button in the top right hand corner. Note that:
    • This database is selective in its inclusion of cases and will therefore have less cases than JADE (see below), but the cases will be highly relevant.
    • The cases are summaries only - the full citation is provided so you can find the full text of the case in a caselaw database.

 

  • LawNow Legislation on Lexis Advance (UniMelb staff & student access) - browse to the specific Act and then the section. Click on the blue arrows next to the legislation, to see cases on this section. Note that:
    • Links will take you to the full text of the cases and / or to CaseBase summaries.
    • Only cases in Lexis Advance are included.
    • This database is selective in its inclusion of cases and will therefore have less cases than JADE (see below), but the cases will be highly relevant.

 

  • Federal Statutes Annotations on Lexis Advance. This provides section by section treatment of all Commonwealth legislation. Click on the Amended Sections and Annotations link to see amendments, cases that interpret that section, and the legal principles enunciated in the cases. 

 

 

  • ‚ÄčThe latest print edition of Australian Income Tax Legislation (CCH) has a section at the beginning of vol 1 entitled CCH Tax Legislation Annotator. This provides caselaw on a section by section basis ie: each legislative section listed  refers to tribunal and court decisions, and ATO rulings on that specific section.

 

  • BarNet JADE (open access) - either browse to the legislation, or start to type it into the search box at the top of the screen - a word wheel will find the legislation - select 'document in JADE' from the drop down menu. Then scroll to the section - there will be a green 'jademark' on the right if the section has been cited. Clicking on the + sign will turn the jademark blue and open a list of cases, showing the citation and linking to each case.