Decision Impact Statement
Sogo Duty Free Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
 AATA 0111
2010 ATC 10-123
75 ATR 631
 FCA 976
2010 ATC 20-208
78 ATR 172
Full Federal Court
 FCAFC 36
2011 ATC 20-249
191 FCR 50
Venue: Administrative Appeals Tribunal; Federal Court; Full Federal Court
Venue Reference No: VT2003/211-213; VT2004/47; VT2009/1459 (AAT); VID 161 of 2010 (FC); VID 827 of 2010 (FFC)
Judge Name: Dr Gordon Hughes (AAT); Gordon, J (FC); Ryan, Jessup and Perram JJ (FFC)
Judgment date: 16 March 2011
Appeals on foot: No.
Decision Outcome: Favourable
Administrative Treatment (Implication on current Public Rulings and Determinations)
Impacted Practice Statements:
Outward Duty Free Sales
Failure to comply with GST Regulations
Sealed Bag rules
Failure to comply with Warehouse License
Failure to ensure goods received onboard
Relationship between s 60 and 61D of the Excise Act
Whether s61D of the Excise Act precludes operation s60 from attaching liability to proprietor of outwards duty free shop
Nature of collateral liability imposed under s60 of the Excise Act
Interpretation of Tribunal's reasons
Outlines the Tax Office's response to these decisions which concerned whether the Applicant had sold cigarettes to relevant travellers for export or whether the cigarettes had been sold domestically or, alternatively, were deemed to have been entered for home consumption.
Brief Summary of Facts
During the period 11 April 1999 - 24 May 2001 (" the relevant period "), the Applicant was licensed to operate an "outwards duty free shop". In effect, the Applicant was licensed to sell duty free goods to persons travelling overseas.
During the relevant period, the Applicant sold 46,017,670 sticks of cigarettes. The invoices evidencing the cigarette sales recorded the sales as having been made to members of the crew of various ships.
The Commissioner had assessed the Applicant to understatements of Income Tax, understatements of Goods and Services Tax and duty imposed under section 60 of the Excise Act (1901) ("the Excise Act ") on the basis that the cigarette sales had not been made to the crew members of ships travelling overseas but had been sold domestically and in breach of the requirements of the GST Regulations and the Applicant's relevant licences.
Issues decided by the Court and Tribunal
The AAT found that the cigarette sales were not made to relevant travellers and that the goods had been delivered into home consumption. It also found that the sales invoices recorded a price less than the actual price received by the Applicant.
The AAT concluded that the Applicant had not discharged its burden of proof in either of the three proceedings.
The Applicant appealed from the AAT's decision to the Federal Court in respect of those parts of the decision that dealt with the Applicant's liability as to Income Tax and duty payable pursuant to section 60 of the Excise Act.
On appeal, Gordon J upheld the AAT's decision on the basis that it was reasonably open to the AAT to conclude on the evidence before it that the goods had been sold domestically rather than as stated on the invoices. Gordon J also rejected the Applicant's submissions that an 'outwards duty free shop' could not be subject to duty under section 60 of the Excise Act and was subject to liability only under an exclusive code outlined in section 61D of the Excise Act .
The Applicant appealed Gordon J's decision to the Full Federal Court in respect of that part of the decision that dealt with the Applicant's liability to duty payable pursuant to section 60 of the Excise Act.
The Full Federal Court found that although the enquiry as to whether goods have been kept safely for the purposes of section 60 may overlap with, and is logically anterior to, the enquiry as to whether the requirements of section 61D have been met, it did not follow that section 60 was incapable of extending to the same circumstances which enliven the provisions of section 61D of the Excise Act.
Tax Office view of Decision
The Full Federal Court has reinforced the principles previously articulated in Sidebottom v Giuliano (2000) 98 FCR 579 and Collector of Customs (NSW) v Southern Shipping Co Ltd (1962) 107 CLR 279. The decision is consistent with the Commissioner's submission that section 60 of the Excise Act operates independent of any other provision of that Act for the collateral protection of the revenue and is a separate and collateral liability to Excise duty.
Implications for ATO precedential documents (Public Rulings & Determinations etc)
Implications on Law Administration Practice Statements
We invite you to advise us if you feel this decision has consequences we have not identified, including if any other precedential decision such as a Public Ruling or an ATO ID requires reconsideration or amendment. Please forward your comments to the contact officer by the due date.
| Date Issued:
|| 22 June 2011
| Due Date:
|| 17 August 2011
| Contact officer:
|| Frank Wilson
| Email address:
||07 3213 6590
||07 3213 5061
||140 Creek Street,
Income Tax Assessment Act (1997)
A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act (1999)
Excise Act (1901)
Sidebottom v. Giuliano
(2000) 98 FCR 579
 FCA 607
Collector of Customs (NSW) v. Southern Shipping Co Ltd
(1962) 107 CLR 279
 HCA 20
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v. Wu Shan Liang
(1996) 185 CLR 259
 HCA 6