To extend familiarity with locating legal decisions and undertaking research into an aspect of currently debated taxation law and practice.It is important for you to have time to think through how to structure and present your responses, and to review and discuss what the law is in a particular area. Whilst discussion with others is encouraged, the final piece of work must be your own.
Estimated 2,500 words in total. Please be aware that assignments less than this word length will risk not covering tasks A, B and C adequately. Your overall mark out of 100 for this assignment will then be converted to a result out of 30, as this assignment is worth 30% of your total marks for this course.
Tax reform remains an ongoing topic of debate in Australia. On 9 May 2017 the Honorable Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, released the interim report of the Black Economy Taskforce. The report, and related links, can be accessed through the Treasury (treasury.gov.au) website.
It is stated on page 1 of the Executive Summary of the Black Economy Taskforce
“The black economy is a significant, complex and growing economic and social problem. Black economy activities: undermine the community’s trust in the tax system; create an unfair commercial environment which penalises businesses and individuals doing the right thing; enable and entrench the exploitation of vulnerable workers; undermine tax revenue; and enable abuse of the welfare system.”
Also included in the Executive Summary is a recognition that, amongst other things, increasing use of new business models such as the sharing economy are contributing to the problem of the black economy.
A. Explain what is meant by the terms ‘the black economy’; and ‘the sharing economy’ (10+10 marks)
B. Identify a business operating in Australia under a ‘sharing economy’ business model – and one operating under a more traditional business model. Both businesses must operate in the same industry (e.g. accommodation services) and must operate in Australia (although they may also operate in other countries). Research and describe the two businesses you have chosen; describing their business structures and how they operate. Identify key differences between them that may affect taxation outcomes. Explain the tax consequences of these differences under existing Australian tax law. (60 marks)
C. Read the Black Economy Taskforce Interim Report – published by the Australian Treasury. Which of the identified proposals or initiatives do you think would be successful in reducing the contribution of the sharing economy to the problem of the black economy? Give reasons for your response. (20 marks)
Hint – focus on pages 32-34, 37, 46-47
The following should be provided for each learning task:
A brief statement of the purpose of the task and how it relates to the key learning outcomes;
The purpose of the assignment is to enable you to research and explore an aspect of taxation law.
A brief description of what students are being asked to do to fulfil the requirements for completion of the task
The length of the assignment is to be approximately 2,500 words. Assignments of more than 2,750 words will not be marked; those less than 2,250 words will be at risk of failing. Please provide a word count with your assignment. Do not include any synopsis, references or bibliography in the word count. Do not use appendices or footnotes as a way around the word limit. Penalties apply for late submission
A clear statement of the criteria that will be used to grade the task;
You will be assessed on:
Analysis (approx. 60% of the marks are allocated here)
Depth of understanding of the topic and identification of relevant issues
Accuracy of the law (legislation and cases) used to support discussion
Clarity and coherence of the debate/discussion (think of leading the reader along a pathway, explaining the features, their importance and impact)
Quality of discussion and argument
Attempt to canvass a range of views and to offer an individual opinion on the state of the law/need for reform (depending on topic)
Research ( approx. 30% of the marks are allocated here)
The use made of appropriate legal sources, in particular primary legal sources: e.g., the Income Tax Assessment Act (1936) (Cth) and cases (it is appropriate to rely on the summaries of cases located in secondary sources)
The breadth and use made of relevant secondary legal sources, in particular a number of legal texts, internet sites and where possible academic journal articles.
Presentation (10% of the marks are allocated here)
Readable connected prose NOT point form summaries
Effective use of HEADINGS
Consistent and accurate acknowledgment of sources using a recognised style – both in relation to in-text referencing and list of references/bibliography.
Identification of the reference style being used (please put on title page)
Typed preferably and double-spaced