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Revenue Law Assignment

Task: Prepare an Objection letter against the Assessment raised by the Australian Tax Office

There is no need to use the standard form issued by the ATO.

The word limit is in the range 1000-1250 words and this will be strictly enforced. Where an answer exceeds 1250 words then the excess words will not be read nor marked.

James is a 55 year old employee with the Australian Public Service. He has been employed in that position for 30 years and is considering retirement. He has been selling his assets as he believes with the current economic climate that it is better to have cash than property. During the year ended 30 June 2011 he sold his home and an investment property. He did not use a solicitor for the conveyances but managed somehow to complete the sales. He has now come to you to prepare an updated will. During discussions with James it also becomes clear that there are some tax issues that need to be resolved.

For the year ended 30 June 2011 James received a tax bill from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). The assessment was issued on 1 January but James only received it on the 29th February as he has not been regularly collecting his mail from his PO Box. The ATO took the view that the sales of property generated capital gains that should be included in the taxable income for James. No reasons or calculations were given by the ATO as to inclusion of the amounts.

The details of these transactions were as follows:

James purchased a three bedroom home at 6 Ridge crop Place Castle Hill in 1990 for $300,000 and sold the home in June 2011 for $400,000. The ATO included $50,000 in the taxable income of James for the year ended 30 June 2011.

After further discussions with James he revealed that he had been renting out two rooms in his Castle Hill home to university students and had also been running a pottery making activity in a renovated garage area of his home. James had included the rent and the gains he made from the pottery making activity as income. James had no deductions of any kind for the year ended 30 June 2011. In addition for the period 1996-2000 James lived overseas and travelled the world. The home was rented out in that period and the rent was returned as income in the relevant years.

James had purchased the investment property at 10 Darling Drive Northmead with his sister in joint names in 1984 for a total price of $100,000. His sister died in July 2000 when the property was worth $400,000. James sold the property in June 2011 for $800,000. The ATO included $200,000 in the taxable income of James for the year ended 30 June 2011.

After further discussions with James he revealed that he had incurred $40,000 on legal expenses in relation to a legal dispute with a neighbour over the boundary fence for the Northmead property in October 1999.

James asks you to prepare an objection against the assessment that was raised challenging the inclusion of the amounts of $50,000 and the $200,000 as income.

In your objection letter you will need to deal with both substantive law issues and any procedural issues relating to the objection process.

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