Melanie Baker

  • Barrister - victorian bar
  • Owen Dixon Chambers West, Room 0923, 525 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • BAR ROLL: 2010 | ADMITTED: 2003
  • +61 3 9225 6717
  • melanie.baker@vicbar.com.au
Melanie Baker Barrister

Melanie specialises in taxation and administrative law.  Before coming to the bar, she worked in the tax group of Allens Arthur Robinson for eight years and in the Australian Taxation Office in Canberra for two years.  

Melanie has extensive experience in dealing with all stages of taxation audits and disputes across a wide range of different tax issues, including transfer pricing, consolidations, debt-equity, Part IVA, R&D, PRRT and GST.

Since coming to the bar, Melanie has appeared in taxation matters for taxpayers and the Commissioner of Taxation before the Federal Court, Supreme Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Court, AAT and VCAT.  Melanie is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution, and has appeared in early neutral evaluations, conciliations and mediations. 

Some cases in which Melanie has appeared include:

  • David Lynton as trustee for the David Lynton Superannuation Fund and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2017] AATA 694 (17 May 2017) – income tax, application of Part IVA to 'dividend washing' transactions;
  • Rowsthorn and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2017] AATA 602 (5 May 2017) – income tax, deductibility of capital expenditure;
  • Luxon v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2016] VCAT 1466 (15 September 2016) – land tax; principal place of residence;
  • Paul J Castan & Son Pty Ltd ATF Castan Investments Unit Trust and Commissioner of Taxation [2016] AATA 298 (11 May 2016) - GST: agency;
  • Bishop v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2016] VCAT 239 - first home owners' grant;
  • Berry v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] FCA 1244 (19 November 2015) - administrative law: appeal from the AAT;
  • Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Garrett [2015] VSC 347 (29 July 2015) - debt recovery and bankruptcy;
  • Commissioner of Taxation v Moignard [2015] FCA 143 (3 March 2015) (junior to Michael Bearman) - income tax: trusts;
  • Garrett v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] FCA 117 (26 February 2015), Garrett v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] FCA 485 (19 May 2015) and Garrett v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] FCA 665 (2 July 2015) (junior to Peter Hanks QC) - vexatious litigant orders;
  • Garrett v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] FCA 40 (4 February 2015) and The Trustee for Oenoviva (Australia & New Zealand) Plant and Equipment Trust and Commissioner of Taxation [2014] AATA 614 (28 August 2014) - GST: standing;
  • Confidential and Commissioner of Taxation [2014] AATA 961 (23 December 2014) - income tax: Double Tax Agreement;
  • IOOF Holdings Limited v Commissioner of Taxation [2014] FCAFC 91 (24 July 2014), IOOF Holdings Limited v Commissioner of Taxation [2013] FCA 1189 (15 November 2013), IOOF Holdings Limited and Commissioner of Taxation [2013] AATA 239 (19 April 2013) and IOOF Holdings Limited and Commissioner of Taxation [2012] AATA 378 (22 June 2012) (junior to Mark Moshinsky QC, now Justice Moshinsky of the Federal Court) - income tax and administrative law: accrued rights in the context of consolidation's rights to future income rules;
  • Simon Harland as Trustee for the PCS Global Discretionary Trust and Commissioner of Taxation [2013] AATA 930 (20 December 2013) (junior to Peter Gray QC) - GST: penalties;
  • Australian Style Investments Pty Ltd as Trustee for the Australian Style Investments Unit Trust and Commissioner of Taxation [2013] AATA 847 (29 November 2013) - GST: financial supplies;
  • Pratt Holdings Proprietary Limited v Commissioner of Taxation [2013] FCAFC 82 (2 August 2013), Pratt Holdings Proprietary Limited v Commissioner of Taxation (No 2) [2013] FCAFC 97 (21 August 2013) and Pratt Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] FCA 1075 (1 October 2012) (junior to Helen Symon QC) - income tax: former capital allowance provisions in the context of mining rights;
  • Resource Capital Fund III LP v Commissioner of Taxation [2013] FCA 363 (26 April 2013) (junior to Tony Payne SC, now Justice Payne of the New South Wales Supreme Court and Court of Appeal) - income tax: taxable Australian real property rules applied to a mining company;
  • Visy Packaging Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] FCA 1195 (2 November 2012) (junior to Helen Symon QC) - income tax: deductibility of a loss;
  • Fowler v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] FCA 1040 (21 September 2012) - income tax: employee share schemes;
  • Commissioner of Taxation v Visy Industries USA Pty Ltd [2012] FCAFC 106 (10 August 2012); (2012) 205 FCR 317 and Visy Industries USA Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2011] FCA 1065 (14 September 2011); (2011) 284 ALR 455 (junior to Helen Symon QC) - income tax: deductibility of an indemnity payment;
  • RACV Sales and Marketing Pty Ltd and Innovation Australia [2012] AATA 386 (26 June 2012) - R&D tax concession;
  • Commissioner of Taxation v Greenhatch [2012] FCAFC 84 (7 June 2012); (2012) 203 FCR 134 and Greenhatch  and Commissioner of Taxation [2011] AATA 479 (8 July 2011) (junior to Simon Steward QC) - income tax: capital gains tax and trusts;
  • Bicycle Victoria Inc and Commissioner of Taxation [2011] AATA 444 (24 June 2011) (junior to Jennifer Batrouney QC) - income tax: characterisation as a health promotion charity and deductible gift recipient.

Melanie is a Senior Fellow of the Univeristy of Melbourne where she co-lectured the post-graduate law subject, 'Tax Litigation', in 2016.  In the past, she also co-lectured the subject, 'Taxation Administration, Prosecutions and Ethics'.  Melanie was awarded the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Prize for the best student in the post-graduate subject ‘Taxation of Corporate Finance’ at the University of New South Wales while she was completing her Masters of Tax. 

Melanie is a Chartered Tax Adviser with the Tax Institute and has been a member of two of the Tax Institute's Technical Sub-Committees.  She is also a member of the International Fiscal Association and the Law Council of Australia's Taxation Committee.

Melanie is regularly asked to present on tax issues for the Tax Institute and other organisations.  She has also co-authored a chapter on GST anti-avoidance measures in GST in Australia: Looking Forward from the First Decade (Christine Peacock, ed, 2011).  

To get in touch with Melanie Baker | or for more information please contact the Clerk on: +61 3 9225 7222 or clerkb@greenslist.com.au

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.

publications - presentations - seminars

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