Walsh, Matthew

Special Counsel

Matthew is a recognised tax law expert and specialises in tax technical litigation and advice, and tax debt recovery and insolvency litigation and advice. He has extensive experience, spanning over 25 years, in the conduct and management of a broad range of tax matters, including large and complex tax litigation.

He has acted for the Commissioner of Taxation in numerous tax disputes covering a wide variety of issues arising under different tax regimes, including income tax, fringe benefits tax, PAYG withholding, superannuation guarantee charges, and the GST. He has extensive experience in drafting and settling deeds of settlement and assisting with alternative dispute resolution processes. Litigation he has been involved in has covered Part IVC tax appeals (including transfer pricing and Capital Gains Tax issues), administrative law challenges, and complex debt-recovery and insolvency matters, as well as litigation arising out of the insolvent administrations of large corporate groups.

Matthew is a Chartered Tax Adviser with The Tax Institute, an accountant and member of CPA Australia, a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and a member of the Law Society of NSW. He has written a number of papers and presented at many ATO tax conferences and AGS Tax forums and conferences during his career.

Recent experience

Matthew’s recent work includes:

  • Commissioner of Taxation v Israel Discount Bank Limited [2020] FCAFC 71 (23 April 2020) – whether a tax settlement deed contained ‘protected information’ as defined in s 355-30 of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), such that s 355-205 precluded the Court from ordering production or disclosure of the settlement deed, even in partially redacted form
  • Bluescope Steel (AIS) Pty Ltd v Australian Workers' Union [2019] FCAFC 84 (24 May 2019) – the Court granted the Commissioner leave to intervene - construction of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth) - construction of ‘earnings in respect of ordinary hours of work’
  • Chhua v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCAFC 86 (6 June 2018) - appeal from a decision of the Federal Court on demurrer – judicial review sought pursuant to s 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) in relation to the formation by the Commissioner of an opinion that there had been fraud or evasion for the purposes of item 5 of s 170(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) – circumstances in which the formation of a fraud or evasion opinion can be subject to judicial review
  • Commissioner of Taxation v International Indigenous Football Foundation Australia Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 528 (19 March 2018) - research and development – declarations made imposing civil (‘promoter’) penalties under Div 290 of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth)
  • Commissioner of Taxation v Seven Network Limited [2016] FCAFC 70 – whether payment of a royalty within the meaning of Art 12(3) of Agreement between Australia and Switzerland for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income [1981] ATS 5 – payment for digital signal for use in connection with exclusive broadcasting in Australia of Olympic Games

Qualifications

CPA Program, Deakin University and CPA Australia, 2003

Graduate Conversion Course in Accounting, University of Technology Sydney, 1999

Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, Securities Institute of Australia (now the Financial Services Institute of Australasia), 1995

Bachelor of Laws, University of Sydney, 1990

Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney, 1987

Recognition

Australia Day Award 2015, for services to ATO as National Client Service Manager.

Australia Day Award 2013, (Team award) as part of the Personal Property Securities Register Team, ‘to recognise the team who helped raise client awareness about the operation of the Personal Property Securities Register and positioned AGS to capture new work in this area of law.’ 

Australia Day Award 2011, (Team award) ‘in recognition of his outstanding work within AGS as Team Leader of the AGS Sydney Tax Team, active membership of the National Tax Executive, his valuable contribution to AGS’s relationship with the ATO, and to AGS’s excellent standing within the legal profession as specialist tax lawyers'.