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Australia – Bank Of Queensland Ltd v Commissioner Of State Revenue (Vic): No Group For Payroll Tax Purposes.

31 March, 2014

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – Tax

 

The Bank of Queensland has successfully had the Commissioner’s decision to group the bank with its “owner managed branches” (OMBs) in Victoria for payroll tax purposes set aside by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Bank of Queensland v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2013] VCAT 1966.

 

The Commissioner considered that the grouping rules (section 9A of the Payroll Tax Act 1971 and section 71 of the Payroll Tax Act 2007) applied in relation to the use of common employees that were, prima facie, employed by the OMBs. However, the Bank of Queensland argued that the OMBs were separate entities that conducted their own business, such that the OMBs employees could not be regarded as having “performed duties” for the Bank of Queensland as well.

 

VCAT considered an important factor to be that there was no doubt that the franchising arrangement gave rise to a common law agency arrangement between the Bank of Queensland and the OMBs. Therefore, the goods and services supplied by the OMBs, and therefore provided by the employees of the OMBs, were the goods and services of the Bank of Queensland. However, the franchisee’s business is still, ordinarily, separate from the business of the franchisor.

 
Here, there were no equity interests between the parties and no sharing of any profits between the parties either. VCAT considered it clear that the OMBs were conducting their own business separate from the business conducted by the Bank of Queensland, such that the entities were not required to be grouped for payroll tax purposes.

 

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For further information, please contact:

 

Geoffrey Mann, Partner, Ashurst
geoffrey.mann@ashurst.com

 

Jadie Teoh, Ashurst
jadie.teoh@ashurst.com

 

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