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LEGL101 Introduction to Business Law: Legal Frameworks for Businesses

Teaching organisation

150 hours over a twelve-week semester or equivalent study period

Unit rationale, description and aim

There are two practical reasons for Business Students to learn about Taxation. First, most taxpayers are subject to income tax, and to function in a global business or ethical investment environment, it is useful to know some basic principles of taxation law. Second, one of the major fields of accounting and financial practice is taxation law. Against this backdrop the unit examines taxation imposed by statute: the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth), the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). The unit provides an introduction to the major legal principles by which income tax is levied on individuals, partnerships, companies and trusts. The unit examines the key principles relating to taxation law in Australia, in particular, what is income, what is deduction, how various entities are taxed, the administration of the taxation system and the impact of tax offsets.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Explain the key principles of taxation law in respect to Income Tax, GST and FBT (GA5, GA8)

LO2 - Assess and give basic advice on how the law may be applied to different taxation problems (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - Explain and evaluate the taxation treatment of different taxation entities and learn to develop appropriate tax management strategies for business and different entities. (GA5, GA6)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information


Topics covered: 

  • Introduction and Overview of the Australian Tax System
  • Concepts of Income, source, derivation and residence, tax treatment
  • Concepts of accounting treatment, implications of GST, business v hobby, small business concessions
  • Trading Stock, principles of Fringe Benefits Tax, non-cash business benefits
  • Key principles of Capital Gains Tax
  • Introduction to general allowable deductions
  • Specific deductions, decline in value for depreciating assets, repairs superannuation, limitations on deductions
  • Introduction and overview of GST, BAS and the superannuation system
  • Introduction to entities, individuals, offsets relevant to individuals and the Medicare levy
  • Taxation of Companies, Taxation of dividends and the Imputation system
  • Taxation of Trusts and Taxation of Partnerships
  • Overview of International tax issues, residence, withholding tax, double tax agreements

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode of delivery:  Lectures, tutorials and workshops on campus or mixed mode; online.

Pattern of attendance and duration: 12 week-semester or equivalent.

Learning and teaching strategiesLectures will be used to introduce and explore concepts and issues. Tutorials and computer-laboratory classes will enhance understanding and develop skills. They will involve guided discussion, demonstration problems and case studies.

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to: essays, reports, examinations, student presentations or case studies.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Online tutorial/workshop participation & engagement

Students will be assessed on active participation and engagement within tutorials or workshops attempting problems and answering questions within an online environment, including online discussion boards.

Submission type: Individual & Group

Assessment Method: Online Tutorial/Workshop Participation & Engagement

Artefact: Presentation l participation and engagement within an online environment.


LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 2: Online Research Report or alternatively an Online Quiz.

This assessment task consists of a 1000-word written report. The task requires students to demonstrate the ability to research an area of business law and to provide written advice that is supported by relevant legal principles and submitted by students online.

Alternatively, an online quiz consisting of multiple-choice answers and true/false responses that will be administered via ACU Online.

Submission type: Individual

Assessment Method: Online Research Report/Online Quiz

Artefact: Online Research Report or Online Quiz


LO1, LO3

GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 3: Exam

This assessment task consists of a 2-hour final exam delivered and uploaded online.

Submission type: Individual

Assessment Method: Exam

Artefact: Online exam


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

CCH 2020 (or recent edition), Australian Master Tax Guide, CCH, Sydney.

Friezer ML, Fullerton IG, Hanley PJ & Snape TJ, Australian tax handbook 2020 (or recent edition), Thomson Reuters, Sydney.

Guilders F 2011 (or recent edition), Understanding taxation law 2011, 5th edn, Butterworths, Sydney.

Hart G, Coleman C, Jogarajan S, Sadiq K & McLaren J 2019 (or recent edition), Principles of taxation law, Thomson Reuters, Sydney.

Koit P 2011 (or recent edition), Thomson Reuters tax examples 2011, Thomson Reuters, Sydney.

Obst W, Smith DM & Hanegbi R 2011 (or recent edition), Successful Tax Study, Australian Tax Practice.

Pinto D & Kendall K 2020 (or recent edition), Fundamental Tax Legislation, Thomson Reuters, NSW.

Sadiq K (ed) 2020 (or recent edition), Principles of Taxation Law, Thomson Reuters, Sydney.

Woellner P et al 2020 (or recent edition), CCH Australian taxation law, CCH, Sydney.

Useful websites: (taxation rulings, general tax information) (legislation and cases) (legislation) (media releases and proposal to new laws)

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