Ignorance of the law is no excuse

In a recent case, a taxpayer decided to transfer shares he owned and had inherited, into a joint account he held with his wife without first asking his accountant/tax agent.

His accountant subsequently correctly advised him that he had triggered a capital gain of $19,415.

He appealed the ATO’s decision to tax him to the AAT and argued that he just wanted to transfer his shares into joint names with himself and his wife who, in this case, was “entitled in equity to half of them anyway.”

However, in deciding against the taxpayer the AAT said“. . . partners to a marriage or marriage-like relationship who hold the assumption that his or her assets are ‘our’ assets, would be well advised to continue with that assumption, without taking the step of formalising any joint ownership arrangements, as there will be a taxing point if they do, if the transferred assets have increased in value.”


Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.

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