image of Andy BubbAndy Bubb

Clayton Utz Special Counsel , Melbourne T +61 3 9286 6189 +61 431 353 325

Andy is a tax lawyer who specialises in assisting clients to manage their disputes. He advises large corporates and individuals at all stages of complex disputes with revenue authorities, ranging from audits and investigations to litigation.

Andy's tax dispute experience covers substantive taxes at the federal level (income tax, transfer pricing) and state level (land tax, payroll tax and stamp duty).

Andy has acted on market-leading disputes with the ATO, which have recently included representing an infrastructure client in dispute with the ATO about its stapled structure and a gig economy client about the employee/contractor nature of its workforce. He has a depth of experience in ATO dispute processes, having successfully represented clients as part of the ATO's general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) panel, the Independent Review and In-House Facilitation processes, and in settlement negotiations.

In his previous role, Andy was a Director in the Tax Controversy team at KPMG Law. In addition to his legal and tax qualifications, Andy is also a qualified Chartered Accountant. 

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Automotive client: Andy advised on the tax implications of a restructure undertaken by the Australian operations of a multinational automotive client, particularly in relation to the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) and other income tax issues. 

Entertainment client: Andy advised on the tax implications of an entertainment client winding up certain offshore operations, particularly in relation to the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) and the CGT participation exemption. 

Resources client: Andy advised on the FIRB process from a tax perspective in relation to the client's proposed restructure and refinancing transactions, including in relation to general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) issues.

Private equity client: Andy negotiated the deferral of tax payments for a portfolio of companies owned by a private equity firm due to significant cash flow issues arising in early to mid-2020 as a consequence of COVID-19, including dealings with the ATO and state revenue offices.

Industrial client: Andy assisted an ASX listed client with global operations to assess the Australian tax consequences of various acquisitions and restructures which were under consideration. Key tax issues under consideration included residency, financing, thin capitalisation and loss recoupment.

Sporting client: Andy advised a national sporting code on a landmark transaction, particularly from the perspective of maintaining its income tax exempt status.

Entertainment client: Andy advised an ASX listed client on the Australian tax implications of disposing of its UK business, particularly in relation to the capital gains tax (CGT), financing and loss recoupment implications.

See Taxation

Taxation Disputes

Infrastructure client: Andy advised on an intensive and complex ATO audit of a stapled structure following the ATO's issuance of Taxation Alert 2017/1 regarding its concerns about stapled structures generally. Key issues included the proposed application of the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) and the transfer pricing legislation. The matter involved preparing for declaratory relief proceedings (ultimately not required) and appearances at the ATO's GAAR and Independent Review panels.

Gig economy client: Andy advised on parallel audits and investigations by state revenue offices and the ATO regarding whether the client's workforce were employees or contractors under relevant state and federal tax legislation.

Resources client: Andy advised on the ATO audit of two internal restructures undertaken by a multinational resources client with operations on several continents. Key issues included the ATO's proposed application of the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR), the multinational anti-avoidance law (MAAL) and the transfer pricing legislation.

ENR client: Andy advised on a multifaceted ATO audit relating to the income tax and transfer pricing implications of two historical global restructures.  Challenges included obtaining historical evidence to support deductions claimed over a decade earlier which formed part of tax losses recouped in recent years, technical arguments regarding the same business test (SBT) and the loss recoupment rules, and efficiently responding to broad ATO requests for information where employees had since left the business by making use of forensic technology tools.

Automotive client: Andy advised on an ATO audit relating to various income tax and transfer pricing issues.  A key issue in dispute was whether a group subsidiary company was tax resident in Australia or New Zealand, based on where its central management and control (CM&C) was exercised, and the implications for intra-group financing deductions and tax consolidation outcomes. 

Investment fund client: Andy advised on an ATO audit of relating to whether capital gains tax (CGT) applied to a share sale, which depended on whether the shares were taxable Australian real property (TARP).  The matter involved a significant statutory interpretation issue which was of broader relevance for the ATO, namely the interaction between the TARP provisions in the tax legislation and the state legislation under which the relevant assets had been privatised.  Expert valuations evidence was also required to value each of the underlying infrastructure assets. 

Chemicals client: Andy assisted a large Australian headquartered client to respond to a length ATO request for information pursuant to its statutory powers.  The request related to an audit the ATO was conducting of another taxpayer.  With the use of forensic technology, Andy assisted the client to capture and search electronic data to ensure efficient compliance with the request.  The matter also involved negotiating with the taxpayer under audit to meet contractual obligations between the parties.

See Taxation Disputes

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Hannover RE (filed April 2021): Federal Court litigation regarding the availability of input tax credits for commissions paid to third parties in an insurance / reinsurance context.

Brisbane Bears – Fitzroy Football Club Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue (Qld) [2016] QSC 231 and [2017] QCA 223: Queensland Supreme Court and Court of Appeal litigation regarding whether payments made to AFL footballers for use of their image are subject to payroll tax.

Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Vasiliades [2014] FCA 1250: Federal Court litigation regarding the validity of freezing orders issued by the Commissioner of Taxation. 

See Litigation and Dispute Resolution


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