High Court of Australia

Howard v Commissioner of Taxation [2014] HCA 21

88 ALJR 667; 309 ALR 1

11 Jun 2014

Case Number: M140/2013


French CJ, Hayne, Crennan, Gageler, Keane JJ


Taxation – Income tax – Taxpayer a member of joint venture – Taxpayer proposed involvement of company of which he was director in business opportunity arising from joint venture – Breach of fiduciary duty by joint venturers – Joint venture failed and opportunity lost – Taxpayer awarded equitable compensation for loss of joint venture opportunity – Commissioner included compensation in taxpayer's assessable income – Whether taxpayer held compensation on constructive trust for company – Whether compensation assessable income.

Assignment – Where litigation agreement between company and directors assigned to company any award to directors of damages arising out of relevant proceedings – Whether agreement assignment of proceeds of action or assignment of rights under judgment obtained in action – Whether agreement assignment of present property for value or assignment of future income.

Words and phrases – "assignment of future income", "conflict of duties", "conflict of duty and interest", "fiduciary duty", "unauthorised gain or profit".

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