Tax Practice: Writing Effectively

Subject LAWS70318 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.


Students should have studied tax at graduate or undergraduate level and have gained some practical experience in tax.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Tax advocacy today, like other advocacy in Australia and overseas, is largely conducted in writing. To succeed in advising or advocating for clients, whether private or government, tax professionals need outstanding written advocacy skills. This subject will enable tax professionals to develop an effective and persuasive writing style in tax advocacy. This subject will focus on the skill of writing key tax documents and developing precedents for future use, including letters of advice and opinions, objections, tribunal and court documents and written submissions, including appeal documents, ruling requests and briefing expert witnesses.

Principal topics include:

  • Effective legal writing: writing techniques directed to persuade in a clear and effective way
  • Writing letters of advice and opinions: section 264 information requests
  • Objections
  • Tribunal and court proceedings
  • Appeal documents
  • Applications for special leave to appeal
  • Written submissions; eg to GAAR panel, court proceedings and position papers
  • Ruling requests
  • Briefing the expert witness.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the skill of writing effective and persuasive tax documents
  • Be able to critically examine and analyse the requirements of the key documents that need to be prepared in practice
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in relation to taxation and the requirement to write effectively
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the applicable legal requirements for particular written communications while being persuasive, effective and readable
  • Have a detailed understanding of the significance of written communication in the practice of taxation
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to development of writing skills in the field of taxation
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse the key elements and features of effective written communication
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding writing effectively to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Class participation (20%)
  • Seminar presentation with drafting exercise (30%)
  • Mooting exercise, including written advocacy (50%)
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Graduate Diploma in Tax
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Laws
Master of Tax

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