Study Guide – Sixth Edition

Taxation is a key component of the overall skills base of today’s professional accountant. 

Business leaders appreciate that there are taxation implications that flow on from most business and investment decisions. A sound knowledge of Australian taxation law is essential to ensure quality input into the strategic decision-making process of a business, and to provide post-implementation taxation advice. Business structures may involve different types of entity or combinations of entities (such as individuals, partnerships, trusts and companies), and it is important to consider the taxation advantages and disadvantages of each of them.

This edition of the subject has been updated so that it explores some of the complex areas of taxation in greater detail. It is an extension of Australia Taxation and requires prior undergraduate-level learning in Australian taxation. The subject allows candidates to gain an advanced understanding of tax theory and policy, as well as the practical application of complex tax knowledge across core and specialist tax areas. In particular, this subject examines advanced tax issues including income tax law for a variety of business structures and investment entities; goods and services tax; tax implications arising from international transactions; and anti-tax avoidance regimes. It also considers the tax implications of complex business structures and corporate financing arrangements to equip candidates with the skills they need to advise their corporate clients. Completing the subject will generate a competitive advantage for candidates in professional tax advisory areas.

On completion of this subject, you should be able to:

  • understand the principles of tax theory and explain how tax policies will impact on business decisions
  • advise on the tax implications arising from various complex business structures, superannuation and associated investment decisions
  • recommend an appropriate business or investment structure to achieve commercial and personal goals whilst within the remit of the Australian taxation law
  • explain the tax consequences of various corporate financing arrangements
  • apply advanced taxation knowledge in complex business areas at a local and international level, such as transactions involving complex GST law, cross-border tax issues and anti-tax avoidance.

The Australian Taxation – Advanced subject reflects legislation in place as at 1 January 2020. Notably the content of this subject excludes any tax-related legislation introduced in response to the economic consequences of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Exam questions will be based upon the 2019–20 tax year.

Exam structure

From Semester 1 2019 Advanced Taxation is now known as Australia Taxation – Advanced. We’ve made this change to better reflect the Australian-centricity of the subject. The learning outcomes and examination are unchanged.

If you’ve already completed Advanced Taxation in Semester 2 2018 or prior, your academic transcript remains unchanged and the name change bears no impact on your advancement to CPA status.

Subject content

The "weighting" column in the following table provides an indication of the emphasis placed on each module in the exam, while the "proportion of study time" column is a guide for you to allocate your study time for each module.

Module Recommended proportion of study time (%) Weighting (%)
1. Tax theory and tax policy and reform 3 3
2. Trusts and trust distributions 13 13
3. Superannuation 11 11
4. Companies and company distributions 13 13
5. Consolidations 10 10
6. Complex business structures 10 10
7. Corporate financing 10 10
8. International transactions and cross-border tax issues 12 12
9. Advanced GST issues 10 10
10. Anti-avoidance regimes 8 8
100 100

For further information, see the subject outline (PDF).