Professor Lee Burns


Profile

Degrees

BComm/LLB NSW; LLM (Hons) Syd

Courses Taught

  • Australian International Taxation
  • Comparative Income Tax
  • Comparative International Taxation
  • Tax Law in the Asia and Pacific Region
  • Tax Treaties
  • Goods and Services Tax Principles
  • Taxation of Business and Investment Income A
  • Tax Administration
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Taxation of Controlled Foreign Companies, Foreign Investment Funds and Transferor Trusts

Brief Biographical Details

Lee Burns is Professor in Taxation Law specialising in international and comparative tax law. Lee was a contributor to one of the leading comparative tax works - Tax Law Design and Drafting. Lee is the author of Controlled Foreign Companies: Taxation of Foreign Income (1992) and co-author of Interests in Non-Resident Trusts: A Review of Conflicting Regimes (1997). For many years, Lee was a co-author of Australian Taxation Law. Lee has authored many papers and articles on international tax and has advised Treasury and the Board of Taxation on the reform of Australia’s anti-deferral regimes.

Since 1991, Lee has provided assistance on the design and drafting of tax laws under the IMF's technical assistance program to over 20 developing countries, including Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Uganda, Lesotho and The Gambia. In recent years, Lee's development work has focused on the Pacific where he is currently working on tax reforms in most Pacific Island countries. For more details on this work, please see JuristDiction and the SAM. Lee has presented papers at the Asian Development Bank Institute's annual international tax conference and taught in training workshops for tax administrators under projects funded by aid agencies.

Lee was the 2007 recipient of the Graham Hill Award for contribution to the Australian tax profession.

Publications

Books | Books Chapter | Journal Articles | Notes | Conference papers | Published Proceedings | Unpublished Proceedings | Other Presentations

Books

1999
Woellner, R, Burns, L, Barkozcy, S & Krever, R, Australian Taxation Law, CCH Ltd: Sydney (9th ed, 1999) (also 3rd ed - 1990, supplement - 1992, 4th ed - 1993, supplement - 1994, 5th ed - 1995, 6th ed - 1996, 7th ed - 1997, 8th ed - 1998)

1997
Burns, L & Krever, R, Interests in Non-resident Trusts: A Review of the Conflicting Income Tax Regimes, Australian Tax Research Foundation: Sydney (1997)

1992
Burns, L, Controlled Foreign Companies: The Taxation of Foreign Source Income, Longmans: Melbourne (1992)


Book Chapters

2009
Burns, L, “Attribution of Foreign Entity Income”, in C Evans & R. Krever (eds), Australian Business Tax Reform in Retrospect and Prospect, Thomson Reuters: Sydney (2009) 443-457

2007
Burns, L, “VAT in the Pacific”, in R. Krever & D. White (eds), GST In Retrospect and Prospect, Thomson, 2007

2006
Burns, L, “Methods of Calculating Foreign Investment Fund Income”, in J. Prebble (ed.), Taxing Offshore Investment Income, Fiscal Publications, Birmingham, 2006

Burns, L, “Special Problems of Calculating Foreign Investment Fund Income”, in J. Prebble (ed.), Taxing Offshore Investment Income, Fiscal Publications, Birmingham, 2006

2002
Burns, L, “Australia: The Tax Treatment of Transfer of Residence by Individuals”, in International Fiscal Association, The Tax Treatment of Transfer of Residence by Individuals, LXXXVIIb Cahiers de droit fiscal international (Deventer: Kluwer Law International, 2002).

2000
Burns, L & Krever, R, "Individual Income Tax" in Thuronyi (ed), Tax Law Design and Drafting, Kluwer Law International: Deventer (2000)

Burns, L & Krever, R, "Taxation of Income from Business and Capital" in Thuronyi (ed), Tax Law Design and Drafting, Kluwer Law International: Deventer (2000)

Burns, L & O'Donnell, P, "Australia: Taxation of Hybrid Financial Instruments in Cross-Border Transactions" in International Fiscal Association, Taxation of Hybrid Financial Instruments in Cross-Border Transactions, LXXXVa Cahiers de droit fiscal international, Kluwer: Deventer (2000), 109-134

1998
L. Burns & R. Krever, “Individual Income Tax”, in V Thuronyi (ed), Tax Law Design and Drafting, International Monetary Fund: Washington, USA (1998), 495-563

Burns, L, "Taxation of Expatriates: The Perspective of Developing and Transition Countries" in R Krever (ed), Taxation of Expatriates, Kluwer: Deventer (1998), 1-51

1992
Burns, L, "Finding the Information Trail: Some Experiences in International Tax Enforcement" in B Fisse, D Fraser & G Coss (eds), The Money Trail: Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime, Money Laundering and Cash Transactions Reporting, Law Book Co: Sydney (1992), 294-304


Journal Articles

2012
Burns, L, 'Resource Rent Taxation' (2012) 18(4) Asia-Pacific Tax Bulletin 312-326

Burns, L, 'Taxation of Non-Renewable Natural Resources' (2012) 66(9) Bulletin for International Taxation 504-515

2011
Thow, A, Heywood, P, Leeder, S & Burns, L, 'The global context for public health nutrition taxation' (2011) 14(1) Public Health Nutrition 176-186

2008
Burns, L, ‘Consumption Taxation of Supplies of Financial Services in the Asia-Pacific Region’ (2008) 14(5) Asia-Pacific Tax Bulletin 352-362

2007
Burns, L, ‘Harmonization of the Anti-Deferral Regimes’ (2007) 13(4) Asia-Pacific Tax Bulletin 269-288

2006
Burns, L, 'Reform of Australia’s CFC Rules' (2006) 21(2) Australian Tax Forum 149-219

2005
Burns, L, 'Rethinking the Design of Australia’s CFC Rules in the Global Economy' (2005) 59 Bulletin for International Fiscal Documentation 262-280

Burns, L, “Australia: Inbound Real Estate Investment”, (2005) (2) 26 Tax Management International Forum 3-7

2004
Burns, L, 'Taxation of Global Operations Conducted Through a Tax Haven Subsidiary' (2004) 25(4) Tax Management International Forum 3-8

Burns, L, 'Australia: Providing Access to Intangible Property: Alternatives and taxation Thereof' (2004) 25(3) Tax Management International Forum 3-7

Burns, L, 'Australia: Procedural Aspects of Filing, Guidance, Assessment, Verification and Tax Collection' (2004) 25(2) Tax Management International Forum 3-6

Burns, L & Gage, J, 'Australia: The Deductibility of Interest Paid by a Domestic Subsidiary to its Foreign Parent Corporation' (2004) 25(1) Tax Management International Forum 3-7

2003
Burns, L & Gage, J, 'Australia: Host Country Rules Pertaining to Positions Taken by a Taxpayer in Computing Host Country Income Tax Liability' (2003) 24(1) Tax Management International Forum 3-6

2002
Burns, L, 'Australia: Availability of Foreign Tax Credits (or Deductions) to Host Country Branch Taxpayer and Host Country Company Taxpayer' (2002) 23(2) Tax Management International Forum 3-6

Burns, L and Gage, J, 'Australia: Host Country Tax Consequences of Engaging in a Sale-Repurchase. Transcation Using Host Country Securities' (2002) 23(3) Tax Management International Forum 3-7

Burns, L and Gage, J, 'Australia: Inbound Investments in Securities Backed by Host Country-based Debt Obligations and Receivables' (2002) 23(4) Tax Management International Forum 3-6

2001
Burns, L, 'Australia: Availability for Treaty Benefits for Payments to Hybrid Entities' (2001) 22(1) Tax Management International Forum 3-8

Burns, L, 'Australia: Global Equity Plans' (2001) 22(3) Tax Management International Forum 3-6

Burns, L, 'Australia: Tax Advantaged Investments for Pooled Investment Funds' (2001) 22 (4) Tax Management International Forum 3-6

2000
Burns, L, 'The Border Between the Controlled Foreign Companies and Foreign Investment Fund Regimes' (2000) 6(2) UNSWLJ Forum 51-53

Burns, L, 'Australia: Taxation of Non-Resident Entertainers and Athletes' (2000) 22(1) Tax Management International Forum 3-8

Burns, L, 'Australia: Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage' (2000) 22(2) Tax Management International Forum 3-5

Burns, L, 'Australia: E-Commerce Trading Vehicles' (2000) 21(3) Tax Management International Forum 3-7

Burns, L, 'Australia: Inbound E-Commerce Activities' (2000) 21(4) Tax Management International Forum 3-9

1999
Burns, L, 'Commentary: Are Tax Treaties Necessary?' (1999) 53 Tax Law Review 39-49

Burns, L, 'Australia: Host Country Investments Through Derivative Instruments' (1999) 20(2) Tax Management International Forum 3-8

Burns, L, 'Australia: Host Country Corporate Expatriation Rules' (1999) 20(3) Tax Management International Forum 3-8

1998
Burns, L & Krever, R, 'Australia: Host Country Tax Considerations in Selecting an Entity to Conduct Inbound Business' (1998) 19(3) Tax Management International Forum 3-11

Burns, L & Krever, R, 'Australia: Host Country Tax Considerations in Conducting Ongoing Business Activities Abroad' (1998) 19(4) Tax Management International Forum 3-9

Burns, L, 'Host country taxation of partners on an international partnership' (1998) 19(2) Forum 3-6

1996
Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Australian Federal Court Rules that Frequent Flier Rewards are not Taxable' (1996) 13 Tax Notes International 947-950

Burns, L & Hamilton, R, 'Australian Tribunal Considers Application of Thin Capitalization Rules to a Discretionary Trust' (1996) 12 Tax Notes International 1995-1999

Burns, L & Hamilton, R, 'Application of the Australian Capital Gains Tax to Non-residents' (1996) 12 Tax Notes International 199-222

1995
Burns, L & Vann, R, 'Australian Court Considers Source of Interest Income and International Application of General Anti-Avoidance Provision' (1995) 11 Tax Notes International, 1631-1637

Burns, L, 'Australian Federal Court Considers Forex Gain and Loss Provisions' (1995) 10 Tax Notes International 1191-1196

Burns, L & Davis, R, 'Australia's Taxation of Foreign Trusts: Collection of Information' (1995) 1 Trusts and Trustees and International Asset Management 24-27

Burns, L & Davis, R, 'Australian Court Rules on Offshore Information Notices' (1995) 10 Tax Notes International 795-799

1991
Burns, L, 'The Taxation of Branch Profits' (1991)CCH Journal of Australian Taxation 28-39, 61-70

1990
Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Tax Treaties, the One Shot Deal and Capital Gains - Thiel v FCT' (1990) 2 Tax Notes International 1137-1140

Burns, L, 'Finding the Information Trail: Some Experiences in International Tax Enforcement' (1990) 2 Current Issues in Criminal Justice 111-121

Krever, R & Burns, L, 'Australian Foreign Source Income Reforms Settled' (1990) Bulletin for International Fiscal Documentation 579-588

1989
Burns, L, 'The Qualification Tests for the Indirect Foreign tax Credit' (1989) 23 Taxation in Australia 485-495

Woellner, R & Burns, L, 'International Information Flows - The Taxation Implications' (1989) 6 Australian Tax Forum 143-200

Burns, L & Woellner, R, 'Bilateral and Multilateral Exchanges of Information' (1989) 24 Taxation in Australia 656-668, reproduced in (1989) 7 Asian-Pacific Tax and Investment Bulletin 485


Notes

1996
Vann, R, Burns, L & Clarke, S, 'Case Note: Commissioner of Taxation (Cth) v Spotless Services' (1996) 70 Australian Law Journal 186-190

1995
Burns, L & Davis, R, 'Australia's Draft Taxation Ruling on Transfer Pricing and Permanent Establishments' (1995) 10 Tax Notes International 2095-2098

Burns, L, 'Australia's 1995-1996 Budget: International Tax Measures' (1995) 10 Tax Notes International 1716-1718

1994
Burns, L, 'Australian Tribunal Considers Definition of Resident and Overseas Employment Income Exemption' (1994) 8 Tax Notes International 1052-1054

Burns, L & Cooper, G, '1994 Tax Preview: Australia' (1994) 8 Tax Notes International 66-67

1993
Burns, L, 'Permanent Establishment: Tribunal Considers the Independent Agent Exception' (1993) 7 Tax Notes International 234-236

Burns, L, 'Australia High Court Establishes Principle for Spreading Deductions Over Tax Years' (1993) 6 Tax Notes International 1307-1308

Burns, L, 'Australia Government Introduces Amendments to Foreign Investment Fund Regime' (1993) 7 Tax Notes International 7-8

1991
Vann, R & Burns, L, 'FIF Rules and CFC Changes' (1991) 3 Tax Notes International 843-844

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Exposure Draft Rulings' (1991) 3 Tax Notes International 743-746

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Proposed Legislation' (1991) 3 Tax Notes International 627-629

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Controlled Foreign Corporations' (1991) 3 Tax Notes International 507-509

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Prime Minister's March Economic Statement' (1991) 3 Tax Notes International
403-405

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Pending Legislation' (1991) 3 Tax Notes International 34-37

1990
Vann, R & Burns, L, '1990 Budget' (1990) 2 Tax Notes International 1025-1027

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Recent Cases' (1990) 2 Tax Notes International 929-932

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Pending Legislation' (1990) 2 Tax Notes International 709-711

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Draft legislation on Taxation of Foreign Source Income' (1990) 2 Tax Notes International 829-832

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Treasurer's Statements' (1990) 2 Tax Notes International 583-586

Vann, R & Burns, L, 'Draft Legislation - Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No 2) 1990' (1990) 2 Tax Notes International 343-345


Conference Papers

Published Proceedings

1994
Burns, L & Hamilton, R, "International Aspects of Capital Gains Tax", presented to the 1994 NSW Intensive Seminar on Capital Gains Tax, Terrigal, 18-19 November 1994, 19-31

Burns, L, "Criteria for the Linkage between the Act Subject to Taxation and the Taxpayer (Nationality, Domicile or Residence or Source)", in Australian Law and Legal Thinking in the 1990s, the Australia report to the XIVth International Congress of Comparative Law, Athens, 31 July - 6 August 1994, 467-493

1989
Woellner, R & Burns, L, "Chasing Shadows - The Tax Administrator's Search for Information on International Tax Transactions: Problems and Possible Solutions, paper presented at the Pan-Pacific Conference IV - A Business, Economic and Technological Exchange, Sydney, May 29-June 1 1989, 451-453


Unpublished proceedings

2009
Burns, L, "The role and value of double tax agreements and tax information exchanged agreements in the Pacific environment", presented at 6th Annual Conference of the Pacific Islands Tax Administrators Association, Nuku'alofa Tonga, 8-10 September 2009

Burns, L, "Reforming the Anti-deferral Regimes", presented at Australian and Business Tax Reform in Retrospect and Prospect conference , Sydney, 23-25 February 2009

2008
Burns, L, "Renovating the Foreign Anti-Deferral Regimes - What is the State of Play?", a paper presented at NSW Division of the Taxation Institute of Australia's International Tax Masterclass, Sydney, 16 September 2008

Burns, L, "Indirect Taxation of Supplies of Financial Services in Asia", a paper presented at the 5th Annual Asian Tax Forum, New Delhi, India 11-13 May 2008

2007
Burns, L, “The Taxation of Financial Services under a VAT in Developing Countries”, a paper presented at the 4th annual Asian Tax Forum, Hanoi, Vietnam, April 19-20, 2007.

Burns, L, ‘Recent Developments in International Tax’, presented at the Taxation Institute of Australia’s conference Manoeuvring the Maze, Sydney, 25 May 2007

Burns, L, ‘Harmonisation of Australia’s Anti-deferral Regimes’, presented to the International Fiscal Association Meetings in Melbourne on 12 June 2007 and Sydney on 14 June 2007

Burns, L, ‘History and Policy of Australia’s Anti-deferral Regime’, presented at the Board of Taxation’s consultations in Sydney on 18 June 2007 and in Melbourne on 20 June 2007

2006
Burns, L, “The Design of VAT Laws in the Pacific”, paper presented at the 20th Anniversary of GST conference, Wellington, New Zealand, November 17 & 18, 2006

Burns, L, “Taxation of the Small Business Sector”, paper presented at the Third Annual Meeting of the Pacific Islands Tax Administrators’ Association, Raratonga, Cook Islands, August 8-10, 2006

2005
Burns, L, “Reform of Australia’s CFC Rules”, paper presented at the Taxation Institute of Australia’s International Tax Masterclass, Sydney, October 27, 2005

Burns, L, “Legal Framework for Designing a VAT Law”, paper presented at the Asian Development Bank’s Fifteenth International Tax Conference, Tokyo, Japan, September

Burns, L, “Legal Issues in the Design of Self Assessment Systems”, paper presented at the Second Annual Meeting of the Pacific Islands Tax Administrators’ Association, Apia, Samoa, August 9-11, 2005

Burns, L, “Reform of Australia’s CFC Rules”, paper presented at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney Second Annual International Tax Seminar, 15 June 2005

Burns, L, “Design of CFC Rules in the Global Economy”, paper presented at the Australasian Tax Teachers Association Conference, Wellington, 26-28 January 2005

2004
Burns, L, “The NITA Bill and the Taxation of Foreign Source Income”, paper presented at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney NITA Bill and CFC Reform Seminar, Sydney, 17 June 2004

2003
Burns, L, “International Aspects of Tax Administration”, paper presented at the Asian Development Bank’s Thirteenth Tax Conference, Tokyo, September 2003

Burns, L, “Taxation of Foreign Trusts”, paper presented at the Tax Institute’s Trusts Intensive Seminar, Sydney, August 12, 2003

2001
Burns, L, "International Tax and Tax Treaties", presented at the Asian Development Bank's Eleventh Tax Conference, Tokyo, 5-11 September 2001

Burns, L, "Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage", presented at the Asian Development Bank's Eleventh Tax conference, Tokyo, 5-11 September 2001

2000
Burns, L, "Issues in International Tax", presented at the Asian Development Bank's Tenth tax Conference, Tokyo, September 2000

Burns, L, "Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage", presented at the Asian Development Bank's Tenth Tax Conference, Tokyo, September 2000

Burns, L, " Taxation of Hybrid Entities", presented at the Asian Development Bank's Tenth Tax Conference, Tokyo, September 2000

1999
Burns, L & Vann, R, "International Aspects of Partnership Taxation", presented at Deakin University's Colloquium on Partnership Taxation, Long Island, June 1999, 1-19

Burns, L, "The Impact of Globalisation on Reforms of International Tax Rules", presented at the Asian Development Bank's Ninth International Tax Conference, Tokyo, October, 1999, 1-21

Burns, L & Krever, R, "Jurisdiction to Tax International Transactions: Identifying the Source of Income", presented at the Asian Development Bank's Ninth International Tax Conference, Tokyo, October, 1999, 1-15

1994
Burns, L, "Taxation of Australia's Offshore Investment", presented to the Australian Society of CPAs Centring on Excellence Workshop, Sydney, 18 March 1994

Burns, L, "The Taxation of Royalties Derived by Non-Residents with Particular Reference to Characterisation Issues under Double Tax Agreements", presented to the No 1 Sydney Taxation discussion Group, Sydney, 2 February 1994

1991
Burns, L, "Controlled Foreign Corporations: A Framework for Analysis", presented at the Taxation Institute of Australia's seminar, Demystifying the Taxation of Foreign Income, Sydney, August, 1991

Burns, L, "Current Issues in Double Tax Treaties", International Tax Workshop, Monash University, Melbourne, April 1991

1990
Burns, L, "An Introduction to Double Tax Treaties", Committee of Postgraduate Studies Conference on Double Tax Treaties, University of Sydney, Sydney, September 1990

Burns, L, "The Taxation of Dividends", Committee of Postgraduate Studies Conference on Taxation of Foreign Income - Controlled Foreign Corporations and Foreign Trusts, University of Sydney, Sydney, February 1990

1988
Woellner, R & Burns, L, "International Information Flows - The Taxation Implications", presented at the UNSW Taxation, Business and Investment Law Research Centre's International Tax Workshop, Terrigal, 26-28 August 1988


Other Presentations

2008
Burns, L, "Reforming the Anti-deferral Regimes", presented at LPD Seminar: Global Tax Reform, Sydney Law School, 30 October 2008

Panellist, Plenary Session, "Last to the Table Syndrome: Acceptability of 'Established' International Tax Rules to Developing Countries - An Asia Pacific Perspective, at the Deloitte Asia Pacific Global Tax Planning Conference, April 22, 2008

2006
Burns, L, ‘Economic Integration in the Asia-Pacific Region & GST/VAT’, presented at Twenty Years of GST: The Best Path Forward Conference - Wellington, NZ, 16-(18 November 2006)

2003
Panelist, Seminar C: Offshore Investment Funds, 57th Congress of the International Monetary Fund, Sydney, 31 Aug, 1-Sept 2003

Burns, L, ‘Emerging Issues in International Tax’, presented at the 13th Annual Tax Conference of the Asian Development Bank – Tokyo, Japan, (14-17 October, 2003)

Burns, L, ‘Foreign Investment Funds - Calculation of Income’, presented at the Annual Conference of the International Fiscal Association – Sydney, Australia, (14-17 October, 2003)

2000
Burns, L, ‘Current Issues in International Taxation and Tax Treaties’, presented at the 10th Annual Tax Conference of the Asian Development Bank – Tokyo, Japan, (2000)

1999
Burns, L, ‘Key Issues in International Taxation’, presented at the 9th Annual Tax Conference of the Asian Development Bank –Tokyo, Japan, (1999)

1998
Burns, L, ‘The perspectives of developing and transition countries’, Krever, R (ed), Kluwer: India, (1998) 1-51

1997
Panellist, Seminar C: Taxation of Expatriates, 51st Congress of the International Fiscal Association, New Delhi, 19-24 October 1997

Commentator, David Tillinghast International Tax Lecture, Are Tax Treaties Necessary?, (lecture delivered by Dr Avery Jones) NYU Law School, New York University, New York, 25 September 1997

1995
Panellist, Subject I: International Income Tax Problems of Partnerships, 49th Congress of the International Fiscal Association Congress, Cannes, 1995

Instructor, Taxation of International Transactions, State Tax Service, OECD-sponsored course, Moscow

1994
Instructor, Taxation of International Transactions, State Tax Service, OECD-sponsored course, Moscow