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Edition: September 2020
  • M.Tax: 2020 Subjects coming up
  • Tax Law Research Seminars Online: Diagnosing the VAT Compliance Burden
  • Annual Tax Lecture 2020, 15 October 2020
  • Meet the Tax Group: Shannon Smit
  • Around our Campus
Open Day tents on South Lawn
Semester 2 Tax Subjects
Limited spaces are still available for the following Melbourne Tax Masters subjects.
18-24 November
Lecturer: Professor Emeritus Arie Freiberg

2-8 December
Lecturer: Professor Kim Brooks
Applications are accepted throughout the year. Apply here or visit the website for further information:
Contact us:
Annual Tax Lecture 2020. Fixing the Defective Jigsaw

The Tax Group is pleased to host the 15th Annual Lecture to be presented by Professor Graeme Cooper, University of Sydney.
Thursday, 15 October 2020

5.15 - 6.30pm

Zoom Public Webinar
Registration button


No-one expects a piece of legislation to be sumptuous prose, but it should at the very least be coherent, comprehensible and complete. Too often Australia’s tax legislation fails all three tests – the design is poor, the execution flawed and the language inscrutable. Many legislative problems are self-inflicted and remedies turn out to be specious. This lecture outlines how we might achieve better tax law.

Professor Graeme Cooper
Graeme Cooper is Professor of Taxation Law at The University of Sydney and a consultant to Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills. He is a former Chair of
the New South Wales State Council of The Tax Institute and former member of the National Council. He has worked as a consultant to the ATO, Treasury, Board of Taxation, United Nations, OECD, World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and several foreign governments. He was admitted to legal practice in New South Wales and Victoria and practised commercial law and tax in Sydney before entering teaching. Graeme was previously a Professor and Director of Tax Studies at Melbourne Law School and he has taught in law schools in Australia, Europe and the United States. He holds degrees from the University of Sydney, University of Illinois and Columbia University, New York.
Meet the Tax Group
Shannon Smit is a Senior Fellow in the Melbourne Law Masters program, co-teaching Transfer Pricing: Practice and Problems, and International Tax: Principles and Structure in Semester 2, 2020 with Associate Professor Mike Kobetsky. Shannon has extensive international experience advising multinational companies in the areas of corporate and international taxation. Shannon founded award-winning Transfer Pricing Solutions Australia in 2007 after 11 years of working with a Big 4 in Amsterdam, Prague, Melbourne and New York. Now with Transfer Pricing Solutions offices spanning across Singapore and Malaysia, Shannon’s global experience and local knowledge ensures that her teaching focus is relevant, practical and current.

Dear friends and colleagues,

This month, Professor Richard Highfield (UNSW) will present our Tax Research Seminar online on VAT compliance. UoM held virtual
Open Days for prospective undergraduate students last weekend, and Open Days for postgraduate & professional students are coming up on 14-17 September.

We are looking forward to our 15th Annual Tax Lecture, to be presented as a webinar by Professor Graeme Cooper (University of Sydney), on Thursday, 15 October. Register using the link below.

And don't forget to step outside and enjoy the lovely warm weather that spring has brought to us!

Miranda Stewart
Director, Tax Studies and the Tax group
Tax Law Research Seminars Online. Diagnosing the VAT Compliance Burden

This research seminar is presented by Professor Richard Highfield (UNSW). Professor Miranda Stewart will chair the seminar and the discussant will be Professor Rick Krever (UWA).

The MLS Tax Law Research online seminar series provides a regular and congenial online forum for presentation and discussion of new academic tax law, policy and theory research by colleagues in Australia, New Zealand and the region. Papers will be circulated to registered participants ahead of time. The usual format is a presentation of the paper for 25 to 30 minutes, comments from a discussant and then ample time for questions and discussion.
Thursday, 17 September 2020

3.30pm - 5.00pm

Zoom Seminar
by invitation only

(if you are interested in attending please email
Registration button
Professor Richard Highfield
Richard Highfield is an Adjunct Professor of Taxation with the UNSW School of Business and Law and consultant advisor to the ATO on tax gap research and to the Asian Development Bank on tax administration. His prior work experience includes 18 years as a senior advisor with the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration and the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, and over 25 years with the ATO where he was a Second Commissioner of Taxation.
29 October
Pro Bono Tax Clinics: An International Comparison and Framework for Evidence-based Evaluation, co-authored with J Noone, F Martin, M Walpole
Presenter: Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar (UNSW)
Discussant: Associate Professor Kate Fischer, Director Pro Bono Legal Program (Melbourne Law School).

26 November
The taxation of capital gains in trusts after Bamford: A critical evaluation of the streaming regime in Subdiv 115-C ITAA97
Presenter: Dr Sonali Walpola (ANU)
Discussant: Dr Mark Brabazon (University of Sydney and NSW Bar)

Around our Campus
The Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) has launched a new digital platform, MTC Now, which is populated with virtual behind-the-scenes tours of MTC’s Melbourne HQ, trivia, treasure hunts, recommendations for things to watch and read, recordings of live performances – including some from London’s famous National Theatre – and more. MTC also introduced MTC Audio Lab, a new series of audio dramas with actors bringing dramatic texts to life!
Photography: Courtesy of Melbourne Theatre Company