The Australian Tax Office has issued a comprehensive guide explaining what constitutes a tax avoidance scheme. It is pointed out that a tax planning arrangement that goes beyond the policy intent of the law and involve deliberate approaches to exploit the tax system is a tax avoidance scheme. It is emphasized that these schemes are not limited to the ‘too good to be true’ type of arrangement but can be more sophisticated than many people realise. It is cautioned that because some tax schemes are very cleverly dressed up as seemingly legitimate arrangements, it’s important to be able to recognise them. Examples are given of typical “tax avoidance schemes” which fall foul of the law.
The guide is of immense practical importance in the Indian context especially in the light of the Draft General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) Guidelines which were introduced recently.