COMMLAW 3501 - Business Tax & GST III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

The objective of the course is to help students understand the law and application of key types of business taxes including the goods and services tax. The course aims to build upon the concepts covered in Income Tax Law III, and this subject is assumed knowledge. Topics to be covered include: an Introduction to Business Taxes, including a review of the taxation of business income and a review of recent business tax reforms; Business Tax Entity Issues, including taxation of entity distributions, treatment of losses and entity consolidations; Capital Gains Tax Special Topics, including roll-over relief and the application of the Small Business CGT concessions; Goods and Services Tax fundamental concepts; Remuneration Taxes, including fringe benefits tax and superannuation guarantee charge; State Business Taxes, including land tax, payroll tax and stamp duties and International tax issues. The course will apply the concepts to facilitate Tax Planning, and in particular with respect to highlighting the various issues on the acquisition and disposal of a business.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMLAW 3501
    Course Business Tax & GST III
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge COMMLAW 3500
    Restrictions Not available to LLB Students
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr John Tretola

    Location:               Ligertwood Building North Terrace

                            Telephone:         8313 8250    


                            Course Website:  
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    2 hours of lectures per week. Tuesdays 10.10-12.00pm, Napier LG 29.

    1 hour of tutorials per week.


  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    After completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to:

    1. Analyse taxation issues as they apply to businesses in Australia.  This course aims to build upon the principles of income tax law as covered in an introductory undergraduate income tax law subject, such as Income Tax Law III or its equivalent, for which a sound understanding of the material covered in that subject is assumed.
    2. Develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of tax law, including income tax, GST and fringe benefit tax law as it applies to a wide variety of different business types in Australia such as companies, trusts, partnerships and sole proprietors.
    3. Evaluate and synthesise information and existing knowledge from a number of sources.
    4. Communicate ideas effectively in informal group discussions
    5. Gain an awareness of some of the more topical taxation issues affecting businesses in Australia in today's economy.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3 and 5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2,3 and 5.
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Access to 2017 income tax legislation and to a copy of either the Australian Master Tax Guide (CCH) 2017 edition or the Australian Tax Handbook (Thomson Reuters) 2017 edition.

    Recommended Resources

    Foundations of Taxation Law 9th Edition (2017) Stephen Barkoczy (CCH).

    Core 2017 Income Tax Legislation

    Australian Master Tax Guide 2017 (CCH)

    Australian Tax Handbook 2017 (Thomsons)

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Week Lecture Topic                                           Tutorial Topic

    1        Introduction to Business Taxes                   -

    2        Introduction to Business Taxes                   Introduction Topic- part 1

    3        Tax Entity Issues                                      Introduction Topic- part 2

    4        GST                                                         Tax Entities Paper*

    5        GST                                                         GST-part 1

    6        International Tax Issues                            GST- part 2

    Mid-semester break

    7       CGT Special Issues                                   International Tax Issues

    8       CGT Special Issues                                   CGT Special Issues- part 1

    9       State Taxes                                              CGT Special Issues-part 1

    10     Ethics; Penalties; Tax Avoidance                State Taxes 

    11     FBT                                                         Ethics; Penalties and Tax Avoidance

    12     Super/ Exam Prepartion                             FBT/Super

     *The Tax Entities Tutorial Paper will be assessed

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course or 13 hours for a four-unit course, of private study outside of your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one tutorial class each week (when these are held).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture Topics and Tutorial Topics are as set out in the Learning and Teaching Modes.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Type Weighting Length Redeemable Course Learning Outcome
    Tutorial Paper 10% 1,000 words No 1,2,3,4.
    Assignment/Essay 30% 2,500 words No 1,2,3,4
    Final Exam 60% 3 hours No 1,2,3,4,5.


    Assessment Detail
    The assessment components are as follows:

    Tutorial Paper - Tax Entity Issues (Due by 2pm Monday 20th 2017) 10%

    Students must submit their tutorial paper electronically through Turnitin.

    Students are also expected to discuss their tutuorial paper in the tutorial.

    Assignment 30%

    An assignment will be due to be lodged online by 2pm on Monday May 22nd 2017 and will cover the topics of Introduction to Business Tax issues; International Taxes: Tax Entity Issues; GST and CGT Special issues.

    Date and time: 2pm Monday May 22nd 2017 to be lodged online through Turnitin.

    Final Exam 60%

    There will be a 3hour exam with 10 minutes reading time held during the June/July examination period. It will cover all the Topics of the course and all lecture and tutorial material is examinable.

    The exam will this semester be a fully open book exam. This means that students can bring into the exam any lecture or tutorial material they wish.  Textbooks, legislation and any other reference sources can also be brought into the exam room. 

    Presentation of tutorial papers and assignments
    · All tutorial papers and assignments must be lodged online through turnitin.

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    Late Assignment Submission
    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. All requests for extensions must be emailed to the lecturer in charge of the course before the due date. Each request will be assessed on its merits.
    5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised accordingly. 

    Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible  moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment  results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is  required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support

    Occupational Health and Safety Arrangements

    The School is committed to upholding the University’s Policy on Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). All staff and students have a legal responsibility to act in the interests of themselves and others with respect to OH&S. To assist us, and to comply with your responsibilities, you are required to become informed about emergency evacuation procedures and the evacuation areas for the classes you attend.

    Evacuation Procedures

    Staff and students must leave the building via the fire stairs once the notice to evacuate has been given. The lifts should not be used. Those experiencing difficulties leaving the building should notify the floor warden. Staff and students may return to the building only after the Warden has granted permission.

    Medical Emergencies & First Aid In a life threatening situation only please telephone 8313 5444. 

     Representatives and Officers

    First Aid officers are trained to deal with first aid situations. School Safety Officers represent the Head of School in OH&S matters. The elected OH&S Representative can represent staff and students in OH&S issues.

    Accident and Incident Reporting

    OH&S legislation demands that all accidents and near-miss incidents be reported to the School Manager or Head of School. In the event of an accident or incident the person involved, and their supervisor, must complete an Accident/Incident Report and Investigation Form, within 48 hours of the accident/incident. A copy of the completed form is to be forwarded to the OH&S Safety Officer. Copies of the form are available from the OH&S Representative or Safety Officer.

    The University Writing Centre
    provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at  

  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.