COMMLAW 3501 - Business Tax & GST

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

The objective of the course is to help students understand the tax law and the application of key types of business taxes including the goods and services tax. Topics covered are: Introduction to Business Taxes, including a review of business tax reforms; Taxation of Business Income; Capital Gains Tax Special Topics, including roll-over relief and the application of the Small Business CGT concessions; Business Tax Entity Issues, including taxation of entity distributions, treatment of losses and entity consolidations; International Tax Issues, including transfer pricing; Goods and Services Tax; Tax Avoidance, Penalties & Offences; Remuneration Taxes, including fringe benefits tax and superannuation; Tax Planning, including on buying and selling a business; Tax Agent Responsibilities; State Business Taxes, including land tax, payroll tax and stamp duties. 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
    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
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Domenic Carbone

    Course co-ordinator: Domenic Carbone

    Location:  Law School Ligertwood Building

    Telephone: 8313 4759 (work)


    Course Website:

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able 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. Demonstrate knowledge 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. Demonstrate knowledge 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 2021 Income Tax Legislation and to a copy of either the Australian Master Tax Guide 2021, Wolters Kluwer (CCH) or the Australian Tax Handbook 2021, Thomson Reuters.

    The Australian Master Tax Guide 2021 is available free online through IntelliConnect (CCH Online) via the Library’s Law Databases.

    Recommended Resources

    Foundations of Taxation Law 2021 by Barkoczy, Oxford University Press.

    Australian Taxation Law 2021 by Woellner, et al, Oxford University Press.

    Online Learning
    The lecture recordings, PowerPoint slides used in lectures and other material for the course, such as tutorial questions, will be made available on MyUni throughout the semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The MyUni course page for this course can be accessed at

    Students can use MyUni to access copies of the recordings of lectures, PowerPoint slides used in lectures, assessment tasks and other course materials.   Students are expected to check MyUni regularly throughout the course.


    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.

    Learning Activities Summary
    The topics to be covered include:
    1 Introduction to Business Taxes
    2 Taxation of Business Income
    3 "Capital Gains Tax" Special Issues
     4 Tax Entity Issues
    5 International Tax Issues
    6 Goods & Services Tax
    7 Tax Avoidance, Penalties & Offences
    8 Remuneration Taxes, including Fringe Benefits Tax & Superannuation
    9 Tax Planning & Buying & Selling a Business
    10 Tax Agent Responsibilities
    11 State Business Taxes
  • 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 Task Task Type Due Weighting Length Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Tutorial Participation Individual Ongoing 10% 2 pages No 1, 2, 3 & 4
    Online Test 1 Individual Monday Week 6 10% 45 mins No 1, 2 & 3
    Online Test 2 Individual Monday Week 11 10% 45 mins No 1, 2 & 3
    Final Exam Individual Exam period 70% 190 mins No 1, 2, 3 & 5
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial Participation
    The Tutorial Participation assessment will consist of assessing a student’s preparation for tutorials.  Before the beginning of each tutorial, students will be required to submit via MyUni a minimum of 2 pages in single spaced A4 pages to show a student’s attempt at tutorial preparation.  Further information will be provided about how to submit Tutorial preparation via MyUni.  Students can nominate one of their
    Tutorial submissions before week 5 for feedback on the submission.

    Online Tests
    Each of the Online Tests consists of 15 multiple choice questions and students must answer all questions in 45 minutes, in a single sitting.  Further details will be provided to students about the topics which the online tests will cover, as well as instructions as to how to login online to complete the tests.

    The final Exam in this course is an online examination and “open book”.  The exam will be of 190 minutes in duration.  Further details will be provided closer to the final exam period.

    It is each student's responsibility to read the examination timetable.  Misreading the timetable is not accepted as grounds for granting a replacement/additional exam.  University staff are not permitted to provide examination times to students over the telephone or in response to personal enquiries.

    No information currently available.

    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.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    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 Access 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.

    The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider.

  • Student Support
    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.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Academic Integrity
    All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Academic Misconduct is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic Misconduct (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia. Academic Integrity 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.