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ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2003/828 (Withdrawn)

Income Tax
Capital gains tax: CGT event C2 - ending of contractual rights

Attention This ATO ID is withdrawn. Guidance on this issue is contained in ATO ID 2003/105, ATO ID 2003/415 and Taxation Ruling TR 1999/19 in respect of ending contractual rights where relevant CGT asset is abandoned.
Attention This document has changed over time. View its history.
FOI status: may be released
Status of this decision: Decision withdrawn 22 December 2017.

CautionCAUTION: This is an edited and summarised record of a Tax Office decision. This record is not published as a form of advice. It is being made available for your inspection to meet FOI requirements, because it may be used by an officer in making another decision.

This ATOID provides you with the following level of protection:

If you reasonably apply this decision in good faith to your own circumstances (which are not materially different from those described in the decision), and the decision is later found to be incorrect you will not be liable to pay any penalty or interest. However, you will be required to pay any underpaid tax (or repay any over-claimed credit, grant or benefit), provided the time limits under the law allow it. If you do intend to apply this decision to your own circumstances, you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed. You may wish to obtain further advice from the Tax Office or from a professional adviser.


Issue

Did CGT event C2 in section 104-25 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) happen in relation to the taxpayer's contractual rights arising from their involvement in what is commonly referred to as a 'Nigerian fraud scam'?

Decision

Yes. Based on the facts of this case it is considered that CGT event C2 in section 104-25 of the ITAA 1997 has happened as the taxpayer's contractual rights under the arrangement have been discharged.

Facts

In the 2001-02 income year the taxpayer entered into a contract to facilitate the transfer of funds into their bank account in Australia. In return for providing this service the taxpayer was to receive a commission fee and reimbursement of certain expenditure they incurred to carry out the arrangement.

The taxpayer made two payments in the 2001-02 income year at the request of the other parties.

Subsequently the taxpayer discovered that the arrangement was not legitimate. Since this time the taxpayer has been unable to contact the other parties involved in the arrangement and the taxpayer has determined that they were the victim of a fraud. The arrangement has been identified as a scam by various Australian Government agencies and warnings have been placed on their websites. The taxpayer has made no further effort to comply with the terms of the arrangement.

The taxpayer did not obtain any independent advice regarding this scheme. The taxpayer expected to make a profit from the arrangement based on the representations made by other parties to the arrangement.

Reasons for Decision

As a result of entering into this arrangement, it is considered that the taxpayer acquired contractual rights. These contractual rights are CGT assets (paragraph 108-5(1)(b) of the ITAA 1997).

CGT event C2 happens if your ownership of an intangible CGT asset ends by the asset being released, discharged or satisfied (paragraph 104-25(1)(b) of the ITAA 1997).

In DTR Nominees Pty Ltd v. Mona Homes Pty Ltd (1978) 138 CLR 423 it was recognised that a contract can come to an end merely by being treated as being at an end by the parties. It was held in Fitzgerald v. Masters (1956) 95 CLR 420 at 432 that:

   Where an 'inordinate' length of time has been allowed to elapse, during which neither party has attempted to perform, or called on the other to perform, it may be inferred that the contract has been abandoned. ... What is really inferred in such a case is that the contract has been discharged by agreement, each party being entitled to assume from a long-continued ignoring of the contract on both sides that (in the words of Rowlatt J.) "the matter is off altogether".

In this situation, a substantial period of time has elapsed since the taxpayer last made a payment under the arrangement. In addition, the taxpayer's attempts to contact the other parties to the arrangement have been unsuccessful. The taxpayer has made no further payments under the arrangement and the arrangement has been identified as a scam by various Government agencies. Consistently, the other parties have made no attempt to perform their part of the bargain. Based on these facts, it is considered that the contract has been abandoned with the effect that the taxpayer's rights under the contract have been discharged. Accordingly, it is considered that CGT event C2 in section 104-25 of the ITAA 1997 has happened.

In this case, it is considered that CGT event C2 happened when the contract was abandoned with the effect that the contract was discharged (subsection 104-25(2) of the ITAA 1997). The taxpayer will make a capital gain if the capital proceeds from the ending are more than the asset's cost base. The taxpayer will make a capital loss if those capital proceeds are less than the asset's reduced cost base (subsection 104-25(3) of the ITAA 1997).

Date of decision: 29 August 2003

Year of income:Year ended 30 June 2002

Legislative References:
Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
   paragraph 108-5(1)(b)
   section 104-25
   paragraph 104-25(1)(b)
   subsection 104-25(2)
   subsection 104-25(3)

Case References:
DTR Nominees Pty Ltd v. Mona Homes Pty Ltd
   (1978) 138 CLR 423

Fitzgerald v. Masters
   (1956) 95 CLR 420

Keywords
Capital gains tax
CGT assets
CGT events
CGT events C1-C3 - end of a CGT asset
Dealings & transactions

Business Line: Small Business/Individual Taxpayers

Date of publication: 12 September 2003

ISSN: 1445-2782

ATO ID 2003/828 (Withdrawn) history   Top  
   Date   Version 
   29 August 2003   Original statement   
 You are here ®  22 December 2017   Withdrawn   


 


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