What is a gift tax?
The Australia system of taxation in general only taxes individuals for income from personal exertion such as working. There are taxes which apply to other forms of income like interest on a bank account, share dividends or from the rise in value of assets which is what capital tax is for. Generally, gifts are not taxed if they fall beyond the scope of any of these other taxes. However, there is a legal test which is used to determine how closely a gift fits one of these other types of taxes. It is called the nexus test. The nexus test is whether there a direct link between the gift and the activity which created the alternative form of tax liability such as employment or in the case of the property the gift and the income stream of rent.
What are some examples which illustrate the concept of a gift tax?
Some examples might be that if your employer gave you a car, it would probably be considered an aspect of your job that you were given the car. However, if, for example, a close family member gave you a car for your birthday this would not be taxable because it is clearly a gift with no connection to any other form of taxation. Gifts aslo tend to have a one off nature and periodic payments will tend to appear as income rather than a gift. One of the key cases in relation to a gift tax was Hayes v FCT (1956) CLR 47. This was a case where a taxpayer transferred some shares to his associates for no payment. However, it was ruled that it did not have the character of a gift because the shares related to the ordinary income of the tax payer and he appeared to be giving out of legal obligation rather than out of any spirit of generosity.
Where can I get more informaiton on gift tax?
Naturally, because sometimes there are not black and white answers to these questions and there is a great deal of complexity involved, it is helpful to have the advice of a professional taxation lawyer to assist you with the interpretation of matters like this. You can post your query to a taxation lawyer to the contact form to the right or lawyers are online almost 24 hours a day to answer your legal questions.