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Weeks V Federal Commissioner Of Taxation

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Discuss about the Weeks v Federal Commissioner of Taxation.



The individual who appealed was a past staff member at the workplace of the Australian Taxes. She was looking for new alternatives and was not having any plans of retiring. She had been applying for occasional leaves and due to leaves for long tenures, the work in progress used to get reallocated to her co workers. The reallocation method made her sad as she thought that she was no more efficient in managing the responsibilities. Finding herself worthless and useless, she decided to write an email to the director on the matter related to voluntary redundancy.

The Taxation office was against the email at the initial stage and did not consider the fact that the position of the individual had become worthless. But, after the revisiting of the email the approval was made in a formal manner after several amounts of disagreements. After the approval made, the individual had been dismissed and the email accepted.  The principle concern of the appellant in the case was that the payment done as a payment regarding redundancy will be non taxable. Thus, the acceptance of the offer was not a major concern for her; she wanted the payment made to be non taxable i.e. nil amount of tax was to be paid by her. She went for appeal as the Commissioner of Tax had claimed an amount of $7,825 as her tax liability.

The section under breach

The Income Tax Acts have a best dealing towards the taxability related to the redundancy payments. If the genuine act of payment is made on the dismissal of the employees by a company than the same is considered accurate and genuine under the sections 83-175 of the Income Tax Assessment Act. The genuine redundancy requires being more than the payments expected that can derived from the voluntary termination payments. The required case requires the initiation made towards knowing about the genuineness in the character of the case and also the genuine nature of the payment made towards redundancy. The Public Services Act determines the policies that stated the termination to be effective in cases where the employees available would be excess to the required ones in the agency. In cases where the employees do not meet the terms and agreements of the policies and laws of agency, there can be termination of the employees.  

There are a wide range of changes and alterations that take place within the job structure and the overall workplace. The reason can include the modifications in the approach that include both technological and other aspects of the modern age and thus there can be situations that the employees would become incapable. The incapability arises towards the effective utilization of the present scenarios in the workplace and effective in the carrying on the procedures. There must be various steps that the agency must undertake to support the employees to utilize the modern day approaches and also considering the alternative options in careers. The agency must respect the employees and must let them leave the office and job with dignity and be thankful for the services rendered towards the company and the job done.


Finding of the facts

There was a dismissal of the individual from the services of the employment and the statement was made by the Tribunal after accurate study and investigation of the case. The Tribunal had studied that the services of the appellant had not been used efficiently. The tribunal also stated the fact that the work of the individual has the ability of being performed only by the individuals of the identical levels and capacities (Colton 2015).

There are a variety of arguments that are considered as the requirements of the situations to distinguish the losses in the work. The requirements of the performances of the jobs are also distinguished. There was a statement made as per the rulings and the policies of the Acts related to the Assessment of the Income taxes. Thus, it was stated that the employees cannot be regarded as useless even in the state of the affairs where they would be unable in playing the responsibilities of the past employees. Thus, the selection of the employees must be done in an effective and accurate manner.


Court Proceedings

The following constituted the question of law:

  • As per the law, the amount paid during the termination of the employees must be considered by the employees. The considerations were made that had a relation with the agency of Australia that had connection with policy of termination. The Public Service Act contained the clauses that stated that the termination of the employees can take place at the time of an excessiveness occurring in the amount of available employees.
  • The amount of money took account of the causes about the payments being treated as the Employee termination payments. The causes also considered the reasons with respect to the redundancy of the payments as per the agency agreements and the same must be considered as the Termination of employee benefits under the Income Tax Assessment Acts. There must be considerations made in regard to the use of the offers in a manner appropriate and significant in nature. The ATO has decided the grounds that must be considered to prove the validity of the payments made at the time of the employees being terminated or removed.
  • The considerations must include the considerations of the facts about whether there is an authority on the part of the agency in the payment making process. The process involves the payments done from the consolidated reserves by the officers.

The judgment gave a decision about imposition of appeals that did not form the part of the legal considerations.

The judgments of the facts stated that there were a number of appeals that did not form the part of the law and legal considerations. In addition, there was a statement that among three questions forming the part of the rule, there were two significant questions that had a relation with the redundancy of the genuine payments. The laws were implied for the identification and the determination of the termination payments being genuine in nature or not. If the termination payments are contained in the Acts of Public Service and has relation with agency then it is easy to terminate an employee. The given case does not fall under the head of the genuine redundancy and thus the disposition of payments is not a part of the same (Villios 2016).


Consideration for the judgment     

There were arguments imposed and the Tribunal claimed that a lot of discrepancies occurred in the decision making. The Tribunal was distracted before the final declaration of the judgments and the agreements and terms that were presented in the clauses of the Acts and laws in the manner respectively. The redundancy concepts were not wide in nature and character and the same helped in the procedures of the fact findings. The failure of the Tribunal constituted the failure of correct conducting out of the facts and study in detail about the position and status of the individuals under appeal. The findings were criticized along with the carried policies and procedures of the Tribunal. It was considered that the method of collection of the figures and data through the system of writing could lead to errors as there might not be any cross examination investigation or processes undertaken by the Tribunal.

The first case that was referred to the Tribunal and had come to the court for the appeal of taxes was that of Dibb and it was referred for the removal of errors. The references were made to remove any errors that formed the part of the law and gathering the important facts about the case that was required on the part of the Tribunal for conducting the appeal. There was also a relation made in the case that had relation with the agreements of the agency. The agreements of the agency were misconstrued by the Tribunal in relation to the same.  There was a further statement made that the Tribunal had been responsible in his duties as he had not undertaken any kind of misunderstanding in the conformity and harmony of agency. Thus, finally the Commissioner stated that the individual was not valued that was analyzed by the agreements as per the agency.

While on the other hand the commissioner had created imposition of payment of taxes and treated to be a non genuine redundancy payment. Thus, on the basis of above it was analyzed that the issue was based on facts and the same will be helpful towards the identification of the accuracy in the redundancy of payments. There were a number of instabilities and inconsistencies faced by the employees that had a relation towards the redundancy in the payments and also the excess amount in the requirements of agency. There were a number of differentiations among the language and the investigative findings of the Tribunal. There are thus a number of situations having coincidences related to the termination of the employees under the policies of the companies related to the Public Service Act. There were a number of instabilities and inconsistencies in the process adopted by the Tribunal towards the method of fact findings. The court judgments led to the decision that there must be a release of the appeal on the basis of inability of the individual in establishing the errors made by the law of court (Gutman 2016).



The case in the above discussions stated that the received payments were taxable in nature and under the head of the payments of employee termination by the employers. There were arguments against the payments of genuine redundancy and it was a part of the rules and legislative rulings of the Act of Income Tax Assessment and it was free from the impositions of the tax. In the case of the initial imposition of ruling, the facts were considered incorrect and on further going for the appeal, the same was taken as incorrect from the point of view AAT.  Lastly, the federal court of taxes was taken as last resort of appeal. Thus, on the part of the AAT the amount of termination would not be a part of the redundancy payments in genuine nature.            

The court had an agreement with the decisions made by the AAT and a statement that gave clarity about the relation of the redundancy the voluntary payments. The judgments held that the payments related to the genuine position of the redundancy. The judgments passed gave an appropriate distinction in the services and employees with the amount of redundancy of genuine payments. There was no genuine nature of the terminations of the payments and there will be taxability of the same. Thus, the amount paid should be measured as a genuine redundancy payment not being taxable in nature.

The court thus was decisive and had discarded the taxpayer’s appeal in a nature of

The court made a decision and rejected the appeal of the taxpayer in an undisputed character. The court of law in addition held that the payer of tax completed compensation. The same non taxable as the payment was not accurate and fair. Hence, on complete evaluation of the case it was confirmed that she was required to pay the needful amount of tax.



Blöchliger, H. (2015). Reforming the Tax on Immovable Property.

Colton, C., 2015. Professional misconduct: the case of the medical board of Australia v Tausif (Occupational Discipline).

Davis, A. K., Guenther, D. A., Krull, L. K., and Williams, B. M. (2015). Do socially responsible firms pay more taxes?. The Accounting Review, 91(1), 47-68.

Flynn, M., 2015. Disputing a tax assessment: From objection to hearing: Part two. Brief, 42(1), p.16.

French, R., 2014. Interpreting the constitution-words, history and change. Monash UL Rev., 40, p.29.

Gale, W. G., and Samwick, A. A. (2014). Effects of income tax changes on economic growth.

Gutman, H. L. (2016). The Saga of Unfulfilled Business Income Tax Reform. Temp. L. Rev., 89, 267.

Hobbs, H., Lynch, A. and Williams, G., 2017. The High Court Under Chief Justice Robert French.

Hoffman, W. H., and Smith, J. E. (2014). South-Western Federal Taxation 2015: Individual Income Taxes. Cengage Learning.

Leeser, J., Craven, G., Twomey, A., Authorisation, P., Kendall, K., Tax, C.F.I., Paul, J.B., McAllister, I., Mackerras, M. and Del Villar, G., 2015. Upholding the Australian Constitution Volume Twenty-five.

Slack, E., and Bird, R. M. (2014). The political economy of property tax reform. OECD Working Papers on Fiscal Federalism, (18), 0_1.

Snape, J., and De Souza, J. (2016). Environmental taxation law: policy, contexts and practice. Routledge.

Stack, E.M., Grenville, D., Poole, R., Harnett, H. and Horn, E., 2015. Commissioner for Inland Revenue v Lever Brothers and Unilever Ltd: a practical problem of source. Southern African Business Review, 19(Special Edition 1), pp.161-182.

Taylor, G., and Richardson, G. (2013). The determinants of thinly capitalized tax avoidance structures: Evidence from Australian firms. Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, 22(1), 12-25.

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Villios, S., 2016. Director penalty notices–promoting a culture of good corporate governance and of successful corporate rescue post insolvency.

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