Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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Unit Overview


This unit provides an overview of the law and principles of income taxation in Australia. Taxation is ubiquitous in almost all areas of life, not least because it is the key source of public revenue thereby enabling government expenditure, as well as providing a tool for government to influence behaviour, from birth to death. Given the economic, social and political ramifications, any student who wishes to practice as a lawyer or work in business, government, or the not-for-profit sector is well advised to have at least a broad understanding of the Australian taxation system: its sources, functions, content, limits and administration; as well as a theoretical basis to evaluate the system.

The unit intends to introduce students to these principles in the context of the Australian income tax system; to provide an introduction to the international context of the Australian income tax system; to help students hone the core skills of statutory interpretation and case analysis by applying the content of income tax law to standard transactions; and to provide students with a foundational knowledge of key income tax concepts such as assessable income, deductions and allowances, tax accounting rules for timing and character recognition, and taxable entities. It also engages with current research, comparative perspectives and recent developments in the law to critique the tax system and the tax reform process.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) (a) explain the sources, functions and limits of the Australian tax system; (b) demonstrate a foundational knowledge and understanding of the following key concepts of the income tax law: assessable income (including capital gains), deductions and allowances, tax accounting rules for timing and character recognition of income and expenditure, and taxable entities and an introduction to their differing treatment; (c) demonstrate an introductory comprehension of the international context of the Australian tax system (including issues of residence and source); (d) demonstrate an understanding of current developments in income tax law, including by reference to comparative international perspectives; (2) demonstrate (a) a foundational knowledge of the way in which the tax system is administered, the role of tax lawyers (and lawyers more generally) in administration; (b) an ability to recognise and reflect upon a tax lawyer's professional and ethical responsibilities in the context of tax planning and tax avoidance; (3) identify, interpret and apply income taxation law principles to provide written and oral advice on standard transactions and on complex tax law issues, locate, synthesise and analyse relevant material from primary and secondary sources to critically discuss contemporary tax issues, by reference to tax policy and broader socio-economic objectives, to critically evaluate the Australian tax system and tax laws, as well as tax reform proposals and the tax reform process itself, and the potential legal, administrative and policy responses; (4) demonstrate an ability to locate, synthesise and analyse relevant material from primary and secondary sources to critically discuss contemporary tax issues; and (5) provide written and oral advice on standard transactions and on complex tax law issues; and critically discuss contemporary tax issues.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research essay/submission and (2) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Monika Plattner
Unit rules
Enrolment in
20820 Juris Doctor
and LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and five Unit(s) ( LAWS4102 Criminal Law
, LAWS4103 Contract
, LAWS4104 Property
, LAWS4106 Torts
, LAWS4107 Land Law
, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law and ( LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics
or LAWS4110 Interpretation
) ) For all other students: no prerequisites
LAWS3362 Income Taxation Law
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 5 x 2 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.