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Succession planning for family trusts – the WA Tax Intensive

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With seemingly ever-increasing levels of wealth held in family trusts, it is important for advisers to be aware of succession planning strategies for assets held in a trust environment. A range of options are available to ensure control of family trusts passes as intended and desired by your clients, but they are not without complexity.

At the upcoming WA Tax Intensive, Matthew Burgess, CTA, looks at some of the common strategies practitioners can implement, and takes a deep dive into the fundamental issues that need to be considered whenever assisting with the hand on of control of a family trust. We spoke to him about what to expect from the session.

Matthew founded View Legal, a specialist national tax and estate planning firm, in 2014 prior to which he was a lawyer and partner at a leading independent firm.

Asked about his session ‘Succession planning for family trusts’, Matthew said “I’m looking to present an interactive style session. The ‘deep dive’ that we’ll take looks at the …

Reflections on the Australian tax system

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written by Matthew Pawson CTA*


I take the opportunity of the September President’s report to offer some reflections on the current state of the Australian tax system. To set the scene, however, I start with an adaptation of material recently penned by Canadian Tax Foundation Executive Director and CEO, Heather Evans (even though, obviously, her concern and audience is Canada): (1)

“The tax system is crucially important to economic growth in [Australia]. It supports the development of an equitable society and the redistribution of income to help provide for [Australians] who need assistance. It is entirely appropriate for our government to expect all taxpayers to be compliant with the law and to pay, on a timely basis, the amount of tax that they owe [or at least their fair share]. However, it is equally appropriate for all taxpayers to expect fair treatment under our tax laws, regardless of their income or level of wealth. Targeting certain segments of the taxpayer population on the ba…

Avoiding avoidance – restructuring away from Division 7A

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Practitioners and their clients continue to wade through the minefield that is Division 7A. Traps and complications can surprise even the wariest of advisers, with serious impacts for the client and their relationship with their adviser.

From the newly released PCG 2017/13 (covering how to deal with UPE’s under sub-trust arrangements maturing in the 2017 and 2018 income years) to the potential application of subdivision EA, the rules around Division 7A are complex and intersect with many other areas of tax legislation.

We recently spoke with Ken Schurgott CTA (Life), Director of Schurgott & Co Lawyers and past National President of The Tax Institute, about Division 7A and the restructuring of entity arrangements. This is the subject of his upcoming session at the Division 7A Day in Perth at the end of October. 

Ken told us that “Division 7A is a boon for advisers, but the detail is treacherous when it comes to structuring around the provisions. That is where we will be going in the …

Rewarding SME employees: alternatives and considerations – 2017 SA Tax Intensive

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Private companies are increasingly turning to equity incentive plans in lieu of cash remuneration to attract and retain key employees.

These incentive plans can often be complex to implement and operate, with legal, accounting and administrative implications that need to be considered.

Ranging from the ‘vanilla’ to premium-priced and purchased-option schemes, each comes with a unique set of benefits and potential traps.

Division 7A continues to cause headaches for advisers, and fringe benefits tax consequences are always lurking in the background. There are also a number of recent start-up concessions to be aware of.

At the upcoming South Australian Tax Intensive, EY will facilitate a workshop on ‘Rewarding your employees: what are the alternatives and considerations from an SME perspective?' It will deep-dive into some of the common and not-so-common issues that SME businesses and their advisers may face.

Led by Ben Turner FTI, a Senior Manager in EY’s People Advisory Services t…

How to succeed in the tax profession

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written by Adam Woodward *


It takes a special type of person, with specific skills and attributes, to thrive as a tax professional in today’s dynamic business environment.
A career in tax can be challenging, yet ultimately fulfilling.
An effective tax adviser listens to clients, digests their facts and opinions, and then provides technically accurate, commercially prudent advice.
In this context, developing expertise in analysis and communication is critical. In fact, a career in tax involves a lifetime of learning vital skills that can be used in all aspects of life.

The skills you’ll need The primary skills required to succeed in tax include the ability to identify pragmatic solutions to complex problems, and to clearly articulate these solutions to clients.
Working in tax is a process. First, you have to understand the problem. You then research and analyse relevant tax laws. Finally, you develop and present accurate solutions.
Strong technical skills and a process-driven mindset a…

Member profile - Peter Madden

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Peter Madden is a partner and national leader, international tax, with KPMG in Sydney and is The Tax Institute’s 2017 Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year.

We asked Peter about his career and life.

Member’s name Peter Madden CTA

Company KPMG

State New South Wales

Member since 1983

What initially led you to a career in tax? I studied commerce and law at the University of New South Wales and it was fortuitous that Peat Marwick at the time offered careers in specialist tax. This required both my legal training and my accounting training, so I thought it was a good combination.

I joined the tax division of Peat Marwick in 1983. It was probably the leading tax practice at a time when the accounting firms were just beginning to do more tax work. That’s where I’ve stayed, with Peat Marwick evolving into KPMG, although tax has changed since then, as have the roles.

The basics are the same, but the focus areas have changed quite dramatically over 34 years.

What do you enjoy most about your work …

Residency for companies and trusts post-Bywater – 5th Victorian Annual Tax Forum

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Since the High Court handed down its decision in Bywater in late 2016, there has been much debate about the residency status of the offshore entities of Australian residents.
Dr Julianne Jaques CTA was counsel for the Commissioner in the Bywater matter from the seven-week trial at first instance through to the High Court appeal. She notes that “there are mixed views about the impact of Bywater – whether it changes the test of corporate residency forever, or whether it is an unsurprising decision peculiar to its facts.”
Julianne will be one of the presenters at the upcoming 5th Victorian Annual Tax Forum. Here she tells us a little more about the case and her session at the Forum: ‘Residency for companies and trusts post-Bywater.
As one of nine sessions in the Forum’s dedicated Hot Topics stream, Julianne’s presentation will outline the High Court’s decision in Bywater, as well as covering the status of Esquire Nominees Ltd v FCT (1973) 129 CLR 177 after Bywater; Taxation Ruling 2017/D2…