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Elements of Income Tax Law - JURD7351

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011 and Corequisite: LAWS2311; Prerequisite: JURD7101 and JURD7111 and Corequisite: JURD7211
Excluded: LAWS3147
Fee Band: 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This introductory course deals selectively with the main principles of income tax and capital gains tax. Taxation is a large and rapidly developing area of law. The case law is demanding and the legislation is not noted for its clarity, though as we shall see steps are being taken to express it in a more understandable way.

Recommended Prior Knowledge

There is no pre-requisite, but we build on knowledge and skills developed in Contracts 1 & 2 and Property 1 & 2. A knowledge of accounting is useful but not essential.

Course Objectives

  • To develop a thorough, critical understanding of the central concepts in the law of income tax, including the capital gains provisions, and fringe benefits tax
  • To give a working familiarity with the main provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act as it operates on individuals and (to a lesser extent) business vehicles
  • To start to develop a perspective on the operation of a system of tax rules in a volatile political, social and economic context, including (more particularly in the advanced course) a feel for developments in the more complex and growing areas of tax law and the growing importance of Tax Office rulings. Ethical and social perspectives are relevant here, as is the ability to analyse and debate contentious issues
  • To develop so-called "statutory construction" skills, as they operate in the real world. In particular, to examine the content and limits of recent trends towards contextual and purposive interpretation in tax authorities. In this model judges and bureaucrats are delegated decision-makers creating bread and butter tax law with important economic and distributional implications rather than oracles "discovering" pre-existing rules in the lofty heights of the tax legislation. Tax Office rulings are an important source of law
  • To develop some understanding of tax decision-making structures and an appreciation of the practical problems in resolving tax disputes
  • To develop an appreciation of the Tax Law Improvement Project's goals and achievements and an understanding of the 'new' Income Tax Assessment Act

Main Topics

  • What is income (or a capital gain)?
  • What is deductible from income (or a capital gain)?
  • When is the income taxable or the deduction allowable?
  • Whose income is it (to only a limited degree in this course)?


Written assignment 50%
Exam 50%

Course Texts


  • Cooper, Deutsch & Krever, Income Taxation: Commentary and Materials 5th edition, (ATP /Law Book Co. 2005)
  • Income Tax Legislation

Refer to Course Outline provided by lecturer.


Refer to Course Outline provided by lecturer.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.