Jackson McDonald News & Publications


Jackson McDonald has a comprehensive and fully integrated Tax team that provide clients with clear and high quality advice. 

We provide direct and indirect tax advice to a wide range of clients across all areas of Federal, State and Local Government taxation as well as analysis and representation in connection with taxation matters in court, tribunals and other types of proceedings, including representation in judicial review proceedings. We provide tax counsel to clients and their accountants, and offer legal opinions on all aspects of taxation and superannuation law.

Our team has a number of lawyers who are also qualified accountants, solidifying our ability to provide clear, concise and accurate advice to our clients. Our team provides competent and commercial advice on the taxation implications arising from cross border activities undertaken by clients looking to invest or undertake business activities in Australia or in foreign jurisdictions.

Our core capabilities in Taxation include:

Business Formation

  • Providing taxation counsel to directors, business owners and their accountants on appropriate corporate and personal tax effective structures

  • Advising on drafting and establishment of tax effective business structures

  • Advising on employee share schemes

  • Tax advice on the creation of cross border, international entities

Business Transactions

  • Advising on taxation aspects of a business purchase or sale, licensing agreement or franchise arrangement

  • Advising on the taxation implications arising from cross border transactions

  • Advising on property tax aspects of property purchases and sales

  • Advising on and representing corporations in tax disputes with the Australian Tax Office

Business Wind-up

  • Advising on taxation aspects of insolvencies

  • Advising on taxation aspects of vesting trusts

Tax Disputes & Litigation

  • Advising, analysing and representing with litigation undertaken under Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953

  • Representing judicial review proceedings under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 and section 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903

  • Representing clients in objecting and appealing against decisions made or assessments issued by the Office of State Revenue in relation to Western Australia based taxes.

  • We acted for Batavia Coast Marina Pty Ltd in facilitating the transfer of land into a wholly owned unit trust and the introduction of a subsidiary of Cedar Woods (an ASX listed company) as an equity unitholder in the unit trust, along with the builder undertaking works on the land; in order to facilitate the development of prime land located on the waterfront in Geraldton. 

  • We act for an ASX 200 listed mining company in advising on the likely transfer duty implications arising from various acquisitions of tenements made by the listed company from various tenement owners.  

  • We are involved in and advise on tax and trust matters pertaining to a proposed trust structure. The trust is to be established to hold and manage settlement benefits of approximately $1 billion of funds including land which is to be derived from settlement of various native title claims over the south west of Western Australia. 

  • We act for a multi-national listed company in establishing tax effective trust structures into which large payments are to be made as a result of the company entering into a land rights deal in 2010.  

  • We act for the administrative body under the Browse LNG Project Agreement with the task of setting up a corporation and four tax effective trusts to hold and manage the benefits under the Agreement.

  • We act for a trustee company of an indigenous charitable trust and direct benefits trust that was successful in securing favourable tax outcomes with the ATO regarding the Native title compensation payment being tax exempt. 

  • We act for the Western Australian Cricket Association in relation to the redevelopment of certain defined areas of the WACA ground into commercial and residential apartments, including obtaining a favourable private ruling from the ATO confirming that the income to be derived by the WACA from the proposed redevelopment would not upset the WACA’s income tax exempt status. 

  • We acted for Origin Energy Power Limited in its successful appeal against a land rich stamp duty assessment in excess of $6 million that arose as a result of the acquisition by Origin of 100% of the issued shares in a company that held a 50% interest in the Origin Energy South West Co-Generation Joint Venture. 

  • We act for a significant Western Australian nursery in providing taxation advice regarding a proposed 300 lot, 10 stage residential subdivision, and sale of land owned by the nursery, including obtaining favourable private rulings from the ATO confirming the sale of the lots comprising the redeveloped land amounting to a mere realisation of a capital asset for tax purposes. 

  • We act for a UK based client providing project management software to large multi-national clients around the world in relation to its ongoing activities in Australia, including advising on various Australian taxation implications arising from their activities in Australia.

  • We act for a high net worth client with multiple business interests in providing advice to the client on a range of taxation issues arising from the complex business structures maintained by this client. 

  • We are chairing the Review of State Taxes undertaken by the Department of Treasury in Western Australia. The reports prepared through this process lead to significant amendments and replacement of legislation imposing various state taxes.

Jemal Zagami

Lead Partner

+61 8 9426 6612
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Jonathan Ilbery

Senior Consultant

+61 8 9426 6660
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Adam Levin


+61 8 9426 6753
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David Murphy

Special Counsel

+61 8 9426 6748
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Jim O’Donnell

Special Counsel

+61 8 9426 6751
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  • 27 October 2016

    JacTax - October 2016 edition

    JacTax is a publication dedicated to keeping you up to date with tax matters of interest that may affect you or your clients.

    Jackson McDonald has a specialist tax practice which can assist with both State and Federal tax matters.

    Click the title above to read the latest tax insights.

    Authors: Adam Levin, David Murphy, Jim O’Donnell, Jemal Zagami

    LINK 44 Bytes

  • 11 April 2016

    Is your SMSF limited recourse loan compliant with the ATO’s Practical Compliance Guideline?

    On 6 April 2016 the ATO released a Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG 2016/5) which helpfully sets out ‘safe harbour’ features of a limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) that are acceptable to the Commissioner. Super fund trustees with related party LRBAs need to read the Guideline and review the terms and features of their LRBAs as soon as possible and take any necessary remedial action by 30 June 2016 to ensure they are compliant and do not trigger adverse income tax consequences for the fund under the non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions.

    Authors: Jim O’Donnell, Jemal Zagami

    LINK 41 Bytes

  • 18 March 2016

    Are you prepared for the new foreign resident CGT withholding regime?

    From 1 July 2016, if you buy Australian property from a foreign resident you may have to withhold some of the purchase price and remit it to the Australian Taxation Office as part of a new regime designed to assist in the collection of the seller’s capital gains tax (CGT) liability.

    The withholding tax rate will be 10% of the total purchase price.

    Authors: Jim O’Donnell, Jemal Zagami

    LINK 41 Bytes

  • 7 April 2015

    Tax update - maintaining your income tax exempt status special conditions

    On 25 February 2015 the Commissioner of Taxation (Commissioner) released Taxation Ruling TR 2015/1 (TR 2015/1) which provides guidance on some of the special conditions which entities must satisfy in order for their ordinary and statutory income to be exempt from income tax.

    Author: Adam Levin

    LINK 64 Bytes

  • 16 March 2015

    Tax update - establishing an ancillary fund

    There are now 1,240 private and public ancillary funds operating across Australia who collectively distribute well in excess of $251 million to charities each year. 

    If you are interested in joining the philanthropic community and setting up a public or private ancillary fund before 30 June 2015, now is the time to begin establishing the fund.

    Authors: Adam Levin, David Murphy

    LINK 40 Bytes

  • 13 October 2014

    Private M&A – common traps in terms sheets

    Terms sheets, offer letters and letters of intent are commonly used to set out the principal terms of a deal, form a basis for further negotiations and are the platform for the parties’ due diligence.  They are a fundamental part of private M&A, but come with some risks and traps, which we examine here

    Authors: Luke Paterson, Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 39 Bytes

  • 21 July 2014

    Government scraps proposed amendments to not-for-profit taxation laws

    In a press release dated 13 May 2014 and issued by the Acting Assistant Treasurer, the Government announced that it would not be implementing the previous government’s better targeting of not-for-profit tax concessions measures.

    Authors: Adam Levin, Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 61 Bytes

  • 8 July 2014

    No fringe benefits tax for fundraisers

    The Full Court of the Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Federal Commissioner of Taxation v Hunger Project Australia [2014] FCAFC 69.

    Dismissing the appeal of the Commissioner, the Full Court found that Hunger Project Australia (HPA) was a “public benevolent institution” (PBI) within the meaning of s 57A(1) of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (Act).  Accordingly, HPA was entitled to claim an exemption from fringe benefits tax (FBT). 

    Authors: Adam Levin, Peter Walton

    LINK 43 Bytes

  • 3 July 2014

    Government introduces Exploration Development Incentive

    At the recent AMEC conference in Perth, the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, officially launched the Exploration Development Incentive (EDI), a policy designed to increase grass roots exploration expenditure with the goal of “discovering the mines of tomorrow.”

    The EDI is in the form of a tax credit for eligible exploration expenditure, distributable to shareholders of eligible companies involved in minerals exploration activity in Australia.

    $100 million in tax credits, equating to $350 million in eligible exploration expenditure, will be available to participating companies’ shareholders over the next 3 years. 

    Authors: Will Moncrieff, Jemal Zagami

    LINK 40 Bytes

  • 16 May 2014

    ATO In-House Facilitation in Tax Disputes

    The Australian Taxation Office recently launched a new in-house facilitation dispute resolution process following a pilot trial of the process in 2013.

    The facilitation process can be used in a range of disputes including less complex disputes arising from indirect tax, small business and individual audits and objections.

    The process provides an opportunity for taxpayers to present their view of the tax issues and facts in dispute at an early stage with a view to avoiding litigation and resolving disputes at an early stage.

    Authors: Peter Walton, Jemal Zagami

    LINK 59 Bytes

  • 9 May 2014

    ATO - New IGT Work Program

    The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) is an independent statutory office established to review systemic tax administration issues.
    Following extensive public consultation, the IGT recently announced a new work program for improving tax administration.

    Authors: Peter Walton, Jemal Zagami

    LINK 61 Bytes

  • 4 April 2014

    Time is Running Out: Establishing an Ancillary Fund before 30 June 2014

    With 30 June fast approaching and some uncertainty about the future of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ( ACNC ), now is the time to establish your public or private ancillary fund.
    To read more about establishing an Ancillary Fund, please click here.

    Authors: Adam Levin, David Murphy, Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 45 Bytes

  • 27 March 2014

    Going, going, gone! GST going concern exemption to be abolished

    In 2008, the Board of Taxation recommended that the existing GST-free exemptions for the sale of a "going concern" and for "farm land" should be replaced with a voluntary reverse charge mechanism.

    The recommendation was accepted and endorsed by the Rudd Government.

    The Abbott Government subsequently announced its support for the measures and will proceed with the proposal to introduce a new reverse charge.  

    To read more about the GST exemption and how this may affect your clients, please click here.

    Author: Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 58 Bytes

  • 26 February 2014

    Uncertain Times Ahead - GST & the Sale of Leased Premises

    Late last year, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision in MBI Properties Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2013] FCAFC 112 (MBI Case). The decision was somewhat controversial and has caused confusion for vendors and purchasers alike who are involved in property development and leasing enterprises.

    Pending the Commissioner’s application for special leave and the outcome of any High Court decision, the MBI Case marks a change in what has previously been understood as the GST treatment of commercial and residential properties sold subject to an existing lease arrangement.

    Authors: Peter Walton, Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 450 Bytes

  • 19 February 2014

    Money, Money, Money – s.255 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

    The Australian Taxation Office recently released a Decision Impact Statement regarding a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia in Federal Commissioner of Taxation v Resource Capital Fund IV LP & Ors (2013) 215 FCR 1.

    The case considered the interpretation of s.255 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) and, in particular, how the term ‘money’ in that section should be interpreted.

    Authors: Peter Walton, Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 589 Bytes

  • 12 February 2014

    Capital raising and franking credits: Where are we now?

    The Australian Taxation Office recently released a Decision Impact Statement regarding the decision of the High Court in Mills v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] HCA 51.

    The case concerned stapled securities which consisted of an unsecured subordinated note issued by the New Zealand branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and a preference share issued by CBA. The stapled securities were qualified as Tier 1 capital for regulatory purposes.

    Authors: Peter Walton, Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 526 Bytes

  • 16 December 2013

    No Sanctuary at the Lakes

    The Australian Taxation Office recently released a Decision Impact Statement regarding the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court in Sanctuary Lakes Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2013] FCAFC 50.

    Authors: Peter Walton, Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 440 Bytes

  • 5 December 2013

    Constitutional Validity - Importance of Policing

    In Albrecht v Commissioner of Taxation [2013] FCA 1248, Jackson McDonald acted for several commissioned police officers who were challenging the constitutional validity of Commonwealth legislation which provided for the imposition of a superannuation surcharge on contributions they had made to constitutionally protected funds established under State legislation.

    Authors: Matthew Reid, Peter Walton

    Download PDF 443 Bytes

  • 29 November 2013

    ATO to Target Trusts

    Each year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announces its compliance focus for the year ahead and provides some insight into where it will focus its attention. The intention each year is to claim back lost revenue and catch out those taxpayers who "cheat the system".

    For the current financial year, the ATO has announced that one of its targets will be trusts and in particular, the misuse of trust structures.

    Author: Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 355 Bytes

  • 21 November 2013

    ATO - Code of settlement practice

    The Australian Taxation Office recently revised its Code of settlement practice.

    Authors: Peter Walton, Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 402 Bytes

  • 24 May 2012

    Jackson McDonald 5th time Perth Law Firm of the Year

    Jackson McDonald consolidated its position as the leading West Australian law firm when named Perth Law Firm of the Year at the 2012 ALB Australasian Law Awards in Sydney on 24 May 2012.

    It is the fifth year out of six that Jackson McDonald has won this prestigious award.


    Download PDF 304 Bytes

  • 20 April 2012

    GST tie breaker - are you the representative of an incapacitated entity or a creditor?

    We might be forgiven for suggesting that Australia’s various tax laws are not the easiest documents to understand and interpret. This is particularly the case where there are apparent overlapping and conflicting provisions, such as the GST provisions relating to supplies by a representative of an incapacitated entity where the representative is also a creditor of that entity.

    Author: Victoria Butler

    Download PDF 378 Bytes

  • 9 January 2011

    Doing Business in Asia Pacific

    Jackson McDonald is a proud member of Globalaw and has assisted in the development of this guide.


    Download PDF 4 Bytes