Adrian Varrasso

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Melbourne, Australia
    Local Time: Saturday 10:26

Practice Expertise

  • Tax

Areas of Practice

  • Tax

WSG Practice Industries


My client base includes a full spectrum of international and Australian organisations. These range from major corporates and multinationals to family businesses, in industries as diverse as property and pharmaceuticals. 
I have helped clients address tax issues relating to the sale and purchase of businesses, as well as identifying tax-efficient inbound and outbound investment and operations. My representation also extends to determining staff remuneration, including matters involving employment taxes and share and option plans.

Career highlights

  • Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust – assisted with Australian property portfolio acquisitions
  • Federation Centres – worked on the merger with Novion Property Group to form Vicinity Centres
  • Beingmate – helped form a joint venture with Fonterra for its Darnum plant
  • Jangho Group – advised on the acquisition of Australian Securities Exchange–listed Vision Eye Institute
  • SB&G Hotel Group – worked on acquiring the hotel portfolio of InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Air Liquide; Mayne Pharma; and others – helped Australian and international businesses introduce employee compensation programs
  • Consistently ranked as a leading tax lawyer by Chambers, Doyles Guide, Who’s Who Legal and Best Lawyers
  • Positioned as National Chair and Victorian Chair of the Law Council of Australia’s Taxation Committee, working at the forefront of new law, and dealing with the Australian Taxation Office and government on their approach to administering and drafting tax laws


LLB (Hons), BComm

Areas of Practice

  • Tax

Professional Career

Professional Associations
  • Admitted as a barrister & solicitor in Victoria
  • Law Institute of Victoria, Member
  • Taxation Institute, Associate
  • Law Council of Australia, Member
  • Law Council of Australia's Tax Committee, 2013 Victorian Chairman
  • Law Council of Australia's National Tax Liaison Group (NTLG), Member


Additional Articles
  • More cash relief for business to counter the impact of COVID-19

    Changes to the instant asset write-off, reduction in PAYG and cashflow boost eligibility – when and what this means to business.


  • COVID-19: ATO issues legislative instrument on JobKeeper Rules

    As contemplated by the JobKeeper Rules, on 23 April 2020, the ATO published a legislative instrument which sets out alternative decline in turnover tests for employer entities to be eligible for JobKeeper payments. This instrument has been highly anticipated since the original JobKeeper Legislation and Rules were enacted in March, given the difficulties many entities had in satisfying the 'basic test' of demonstrating a decline in turnover.

  • Federal Budget 2022/23 Highlights

    An election year Federal Budget has announced significant personal tax measures as expected, with a focus on addressing cost of living pressures in a time of rising inflation.

  • Joint takeover of ASX listed Sirtex Medical Limited
    MinterEllison advised CDH Investments and China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited on their last-minute A$1.90 billion joint takeover for ASX listed Sirtex Medical Limited.

  • How to pay a dividend in Australia – a guide

    We explain the various requirements an Australian company must meet in order to pay a dividend to its shareholders.

  • Federal Budget Highlights 2021-22

    The 2021-22 Federal Budget provides Australia with a roadmap to help guide our country's business and economic recovery as we emerge from the unprecedented COVID-19 impacts of 2020.



  • Federal Budget Highlights: 2020-21

    A highly anticipated Federal Budget announced late in a turbulent and unpredictable year, the 2020-21 Budget sets out significant taxation relief for individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 recession. MinterEllison explores the impact and implications across the key focus areas raised in the government’s Budget announcement.

  • Federal Budget 2020-21 introduces temporary loss carry back rules

    A significant measure announced in the 2020 – 21 Federal Budget was the temporary loss carry back regime for corporate tax entities.

  • Stapled Structures - Details of Integrity Package

    On 27 March 2018, the Treasury released a publication titled "Stapled structures – Details of integrity package" (Integrity Package) outlining the proposed changes to the tax treatment of stapled structures.

  • COVID-19: JobKeeper Rules clarified and critical guidance provided from the ATO
    On 1 May 2020, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No 2) 2020 was enacted to provide clarification to the JobKeeper Scheme. Most significant for corporate groups were the changes to the 'decline in turnover test' which should enable entities that service entities of a wider group structure to be able to qualify for the JobKeeper payments.
  • A new tax regime for corporate collective investment structures

    As part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget handed down on 11 May 2021, the Government announced that the corporate collective investment vehicle (CCIV) regime would be finalised with a revised commencement date of 1 July 2022.

  • ATO confirms loans put on hold during COVID-19 are not subject to debt forgiveness

    Merely putting a loan on hold (either postponing or deferring the amount of principal  to be repaid under the terms of the loan), does not amount to debt forgiveness for tax purposes, according to the recent ATO clarification.  

  • COVID-19: JobKeeper payments and the decline in turnover test

    The ATO has released LCR 2020/1 JobKeeper Payment – decline in turnover test (LCR) providing detailed guidance on  what should be included or excluded from the calculation of the decline in turnover test included in the JobKeeper Rules.

  • Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Highlights: 2019-20

    The Government's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2019-20, announced yesterday, signals that the budget is scheduled to return to surplus in 2019-20. However the projected budget surplus in 2019-20 and over the next four years is set to reduce.

  • ATO finalises TD 2020/6 - What is a restructuring for the purposes of the demerger rules?

    ATO clarification on what constitutes a restructuring for the purposes of the demerger rules confirms the change in their approach with effect both before and after the date of publication. We explore the details. 

  • Software licences and royalty withholding tax
  • COVID-19 issues for corporate tax directors

    The Commonwealth Government has announced a number of targeted relief measures in response to COVID-19. Our team has outlined the key taxation implications that Directors and CFOs should be aware of and provided our insights on how you can prepare.

  • Australian corporate taxation measures - responses to COVID-19
    The Commonwealth and State governments have announced a number of tax measures primarily designed to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ATO has also made a statement on its position in relation to some anomalies that may arise from the forced travel restrictions.
  • Taxation and cross-border M&A: Clarity on Australian tax liabilities in foreign corporate mergers

    A recent Federal Court decision provides further clarity on the treatment of Australian tax liabilities following the completion of a corporate merger.

  • Jangho Group completes takeover of Vision Eye Institute
    China's Jangho Group has completed its acquisition of ASX-listed Vision Eye Institute Limited, paying approximately A$200 million for the company in an all-cash transaction.
  • Tracking the changes to Base Erosion and Profit Shifting

    Commentary on the the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) July 2013 changes to the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS Action Plan).

  • More than meets the eye - the new 10% foreign resident capital gains tax withholding regime
    Commentary on the 10% foreign resident capital gains tax withholding regime. 
  • The FIRB fallout from the Chevron Case
    You are probably familiar with the fact that foreign investment approvals under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) (FATA) are very often subject to a set of 'standard tax conditions' relating to compliance with Australian taxation laws. 

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