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Distinguishing closely held companies for taxation purposes: The Australian experience 1930-1972


  • Lynne Oats


Early in the life of Australia's income tax, the government, sensitive to loss of taxation revenue through artificial arrangements to divert taxable profits from individuals to companies where they would be taxed more lightly, saw fit to provide a special taxation regime for closely held companies. From the first attempts by the government to distinguish closely held companies for tax purposes in 1930, until the final legislative changes in 1972, there arose a highly unsatisfactory situation in which taxpayers sought, through increasingly artificial means, to subvert the legislative purpose with the aim of tax avoidance. The government's response throughout was inadequate in a number of respects, and fuelled the fires of tax avoidance through inept drafting of the relevant legislation and delayed treatment of perceived abuses by taxpayers.

Suggested Citation

  • Lynne Oats, 2005. "Distinguishing closely held companies for taxation purposes: The Australian experience 1930-1972," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 35-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:15:y:2005:i:1:p:35-61
    DOI: 10.1080/09585200500032719

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simon James & Ian Wallschutsky, 1997. "Tax law improvement in Australia and the UK: the need for a strategy for simplification," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 445-460, November.
    2. N/A, 1970. "Note," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 2(4), pages 1-1, October.
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