NSW Revenue Note: meaning of change in “beneficial ownership”
Revenue NSW has issued Commissioner’s Practice Note CPN 025 which deals with the meaning of a “change in beneficial ownership” of dutiable property and the circumstances when certain transactions will or will not be dutiable. Among other things, it takes into account the expression “beneficial ownership” has a wide meaning and extends beyond merely equitable ownership. It states that a person may obtain beneficial ownership if the capacity in which a person holds dutiable property changes (e.g., where a person who holds dutiable property other than as trustee starts to hold the dutiable property as trustee). It also states that duty may also be payable where a person’s interest in a trust increases, including as a result of the surrender of another person’s interest in a trust (unless the increase results from an excluded transaction).

Draft Excise Ruling – meaning of “legally and economically independent”
The Commissioner has released Draft ER 2022/D1 Excise: the meaning of “legally and economically independent”It explains the Commissioner’s view on the meaning of ‘legally and economically independent’ for the purposes of the Excise remission scheme for manufacturers of alcoholic beverages and the former Excise refund scheme for alcohol manufacturers. It also states that to be eligible to receive a remission or refund under either scheme, an alcohol manufacturer must meet certain eligibility criteria. One of the eligibility criteria for both schemes is that an alcohol manufacturer must be legally and economically independent of any other entity that has received a remission or refund under the scheme in the financial year.

Proposed new double tax treaties
The Government has announced that it will expand Australia’s tax treaty network to, among other things, provide improved certainty to taxpayers and guard against tax evasion and avoidance practices. New negotiations are planned with Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These countries add to the current program which includes Portugal, Slovenia, Greece and Luxembourg. The current program also includes Iceland who signed a tax treaty with Australia on 12 October 2022.