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About this NPA

The Taxation National Practice Area (NPA) includes any proceeding relating to:

  • tax appeals to the Federal Court from decisions pursuant to Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (Taxation Administration Act) that are relevant to decisions made by the Commissioner of Taxation
  • appeals from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) pursuant to s 44(1) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) (AAT Act) which involve taxation disputation and referrals of questions of law pursuant to s 45 of the AAT Act
  • applications to set aside Departure Prohibition Orders (DPO Appeals)
  • applications relating to civil penalties under the promoter penalty provisions
  • other proceedings in the original jurisdiction of the Federal Court including applications invoking the jurisdiction conferred by s 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) (Judiciary Act) and orders for review pursuant to the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) (ADJR Act)
  • any recovery or other proceeding collateral to a tax dispute.

Case Management

The Court’s case management objectives for tax cases is to:

  • provide uniform treatment and management
  • provide the just and efficient determination in a timely manner
  • facilitate the identification and development of alternative procedures with a view to expediting resolution where possible.

Practice Notes

All practice notes are to be read with the Central Practice Note.  It is the essential guide to practice in the Federal Court in all proceedings.

The NPA practice note sets out the arrangements for the management of tax proceedings:

NPA Practice Note:

Other practice notes which may be relevant to this NPA include:

General Practice Notes:

Forms, Rules & Fees

Filing fees for commencing a proceeding in this NPA may apply. Information about Court fees, including the fees payable and circumstances where an exemption or deferral can be given is available in Forms, Fees & Costs or from the Registry.

Parties should consider whether it is necessary to file a Genuine steps statement (Form 16) in certain proceedings in this NPA - see r 8.02 of the Federal Court Rules (2011) (Federal Court Rules) and the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011 (Cth) (including sections 6, 7 and 16).

The Taxation NPA comprises the following types of proceedings:

1.  Appeals pursuant to Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 against an objection decision including private rulings

A taxpayer may appeal against a reviewable objection decision including with respect to private rulings under s 14ZZ of the Taxation Administration Act (AOD appeal) by filing:

Forms:
  • Form 73 - Notice of appeal against appealable objection decision under s 14ZZ Taxation Administration Act
Rules:
  • Starting AOD appeals: Federal Court Rules r 33.02
  • If the AOD appeal does not relate to a private ruling: Federal Court Rules r 33.03
  • If the AOD appeal relates to a private ruling: Federal Court Rules r 33.04
Notes:
  • The AOD appeal must be filed within 60 days of service of a notice of an objection decision
  • The scope of this appeal is wider than an appeal from the AAT as it is not limited to a determination of a question of law
  • The applicant must serve a sealed copy of the Notice of appeal (Form 73) on the Commissioner at the office of the Australian Government Solicitor. If the appeal relates to a private ruling, the sealed copy of the Notice of appeal must be served within 6 days after filing.

2.   Appeals from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

The Commissioner or the taxpayer may commence an appeal from the AAT on a question of law pursuant to s 44(1) of the AAT Act by filing:

Forms:
  • Form 75 - Notice of appeal from a tribunal
  • Form 67 - Application for extension of time
Rules:
  • Federal Court Rules r 33.12
  • For extension of time: Federal Court Rules r 33.12, 33.13 and 33.13(2)
Notes:
  • A Notice of appeal must be filed within 28 days of receiving the notice of the AAT’s decision
  • The Court can only make findings of fact in limited circumstances (see s 44(7) of the AAT Act)
  • A person who wants to apply for an extension of time to start an AAT appeal under s 44(2A) of the AAT Act must file an Application for extension of time (Form 67) attaching a draft Notice of appeal (Form 75).

3.  Applications for judicial review under section 39B of the Judiciary Act

The scope of judicial review in tax cases is limited.  A taxpayer may apply for judicial review under s 39B of the Judiciary Act by filing:

Forms:
  • Form 69 - Originating application for relief under s 39B of the Judiciary Act
  • Form 18 - Notice of a constitutional matter under s 78B of the Judiciary Act
Rules:
  • Federal Court Rules r 31.11
  • For matters arising under the Constitution: Federal Court Rules r 8.11(2)

4.  DPO Appeals (appeals against departure prohibition orders)

A person may apply to the Court to appeal against the making of a departure prohibition order (DPO appeal) under s 14V of the Taxation Administration Act by filing:

Forms:
  • Form 74 - Notice of appeal against departure prohibition order under s 14V Taxation Administration Act
Rules:
Notes:
  • The applicant must serve a sealed copy of the Notice of appeal on the Commissioner at the office of the Australian Government Solicitor in which the departure prohibition order was made.

5.  Judicial review applications

A taxpayer may seek a review of an administrative decision of the Commissioner under the ADJR Act subject to certain decisions set out in Schedule 1 of the ADJR Act that are excluded from review by filing:

Forms:
  • Form 66 - Originating application for judicial review
Rules:
Notes:
  • Certain decisions set out in Schedule 1 of the ADJR Act are excluded from this type of review
  • Generally, a judicial review application must be lodged within 28 days.

6. Other taxation disputes

Other taxation disputes may be commenced including the Commissioner applying to the Court for civil penalties under the promoter penalty regime. These can be commenced by filing:

Forms:
Rules:

For further procedural and case management information you should refer to the Central Practice Note and the Taxation Practice Note.

Latest Judgments

  • 18 May 2021: Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 523
    TAXATION - objections to car parking fringe benefits tax assessments disallowed - appeal under s 14ZZ of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) - car parking provided to flight crew and cabin crew at three airports - whether flight crew and cabin crew have a "primary place of employment" - if yes, where is that primary place of employment -…
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 14 May 2021: Mussalli v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCAFC 71
    TAXATION - income tax - deductibility - payments made upon entering into lease and license agreements of franchise restaurants - payments described as prepayments of rent - whether payments were capital in nature or on revenue account - characterisation of advantage sought - where the quantum of the prepayment was calculated without reference to…
    Judge: McKerracher, Thawley and Stewart JJ
  • 12 May 2021: Shell Energy Holdings Australia Limited v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 496
    TAXATION - appeal against objection decision of Commissioner of Taxation - where applicant party to joint venture agreements in relation to natural gas project - where participants in project held statutory titles which conferred authority to explore for petroleum - where applicant increased its proportional interest in each of statutory titles…
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 5 May 2021: KPTT v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 464
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - whether identity of applicant should be suppressed - Court's power to make suppression and non-publication orders - whether suppression orders necessary to prevent prejudice to the proper administration of justice.
    Judge: Jagot J
  • 5 May 2021: Singh v Khan (No 2) [2021] FCA 463
    RESTITUTION - claim for money had and received on mistake of law - whether applicant must plead loss or liability to third party - whether that the money recovered would be held by the applicant on constructive trust in favour of a third party can be raised as a defence to a common law claim for money had and received EQUITY - constructive trust - …
    Judge: Stewart J
  • 29 Apr 2021: Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Ltd v Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission [2021] FCA 435
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for maximum costs order under r 40.51 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) - where substantive proceedings concern appeal against the Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission's objection decision, which refused to register the applicant as a public benevolent institution -…
    Judge: Thawley J
  • 26 Apr 2021: Commissioner of Taxation v Zou [2021] FCA 433
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Ex parte application for freezing and restraining orders - whether good arguable case - whether danger of risk of dissipation of property in order to frustrate a prospective judgment - application granted. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - where service outside jurisdiction - service pursuant to the Convention on the Service Abroad …
    Judge: Davies J
  • 23 Apr 2021: Coal of Queensland Pty Ltd v Innovation and Science Australia [2021] FCAFC 54
    TAXATION - research and development tax offset - where applicant held exploration permit for coal - where coal in the area had high level of ash content and the coal seams were banded - where applicant commenced a series of activities to investigate the nature and economic viability of mining the coal - where the Tribunal found that none of the…
    Judge: Logan, Griffiths and Moshinsky JJ
  • 1 Apr 2021: O'Neill v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 322
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - construction of procedural timetabling order which set aside "all extant orders" - whether that order discharged an interlocutory injunction on foot - whether context and purpose of the court's order can be considered in construing the order - operation of an order under r 39.05 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) nunc…
    Judge: Wheelahan J
  • 30 Mar 2021: Le v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 303
    TAXATION - onus of proof - appeal under s 14ZZ of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) - where Commissioner adopted asset betterment approach - where applicants submitted assessments were excessive - whether on appeal applicants had discharged onus of proof pursuant to s 14ZZK TAA - where applicants contended that taxable income as declared…
    Judge: Logan J

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Important note: This information is procedural advice only. You should seek your own legal advice about legal cases and procedure in the Federal Court and in this area of law.