Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Appointment of the Assistant Treasurer

As you may have seen, the Prime Minister reshuffled his Ministry prior to Christmas and this has resulted in the appointment of the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP as Assistant Treasurer.

This is good news for practitioners, because the post has effectively been without a permanent occupant since March 2014 when Senator Sinodinos stood aside.

So who is the new Assistant Treasurer? What will he bring to the role?

Apart from being a bit of a gun tennis player (he tried his hand at entering the pro tennis circuit in his younger days), the Minister represents the Victorian electorate of Kooyong, which was once held by Sir Robert Menzies (no pressure!). He studied law and economics at Monash University and worked in both law and banking before politics, where he advised Ministers including the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister. In 2010 he entered Parliament and from September 2013 had been the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with responsibility for tackling red-tape across the economy.

As Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will no doubt bring his energetic, can-do approach to tackling the byzantine realm of taxation.

As someone who has always had an interest in taxation and its effect on the economy, tax professionals are keenly awaiting his leadership in the debate on tax reform particularly with the imminent start of the Tax White Paper process.

He will certainly be carefully listening to all stakeholders: individual taxpayers, businesses, community groups and tax professionals. These groups have an important role to play in arguing the case for tax reform, but Government plays a crucial role in building the 'why' case for reform from the perspective of the voting public.

The huge task of being across the detail of tax policy will be gifted by Joe Hockey to the Assistant Treasurer, who will have the tough job of selling the need for any tax reform.

We have already built on our existing strong relationship with the new Minister by briefing him early this year on the Tax Institute's key priorities and members concerns.

The Tax White Paper discussion paper is now expected to be released in the week commencing 2 February 2015. We will also see the Tax Expenditures Statement released next week by Treasury.


Robert Jeremenko CTA is Senior Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.
The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Financial Services Taxation Conference Speaker Profile: Robert Gallo

Robert Gallo is a Director at PwC. He helps tax functions transform their operations through the use of strategy, people, process and technology solutions.
Robert has over 15 years experience in advising clients on optimising their tax reporting and compliance processes as well as transforming their tax functions to best balance their use of strategy, people, processes and technology. His experience expands across tax functions in various geographies and industries including banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, energy and mining. This experience includes tax function design and assessment, application of tax corporate governance and risk management frameworks, process improvement, tax software implementation combined with tax project assurance.

What does the Financial Services Taxation Conference mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

The Financial Services Taxation Conference is a good forum for connecting/networking with the industry. It presents a good opportunity to understand the challenges as well as sharing solutions between peers in what I refer to as leading practices.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the Financial Services Taxation Conference and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

I will be part of a panel discussion focused on the Financial Services tax function in a changing world. The tax function is facing a number of challenges from both internal and external influences.  The panel has a broad range of views to uncover some of the practical solutions that can be put in place.
Attendees can learn about what others are doing to deal with the additional workload that is being placed on the tax function. These include: taking advantage of improvement in technology through to the re-engineering of processes.

What new or hot topics will you cover?

There will be a focus on data analytics and how this can be used as a detective measure.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

Delegates can hear about what others are doing to free up their time on compliance and reporting and focussing more on being an advisor to the business.

What do you like to do when you’re not knee-deep in tax?

I like to listen to music, play with the kids and have a hit of tennis.


Join us on the Gold Coast for The Tax Institute's 2015 Financial Services Taxation Conference, Australia's leading financial services taxation conference. 

Monday, 12 January 2015

National Convention Speaker Profile: Philip Bender

Philip is a barrister practising in state and federal taxation and commercial law.  I’m also a member of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been writing articles and presenting for the Tax Institute and attending seminars since 2003.

What does the National Convention mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

The National Convention is an opportunity to catch up on developments in the tax law and share ideas with other tax professionals.

What is the topic that you are presenting and what can attendees expect to learn?

I will be covering recent cases and rulings. As well as pure tax cases, I’ll also be covering one of my recent High Court cases which had a tax aspect but also has implications for company directors and commercial disputes in general.

Attendees can expect to get an insight into the key cases and rulings from 2014 and, in particular, why they are important for clients.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

My session will look at some of the practical implications of recent case law and rulings and how they will impact on clients’ businesses.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending?

I’m interested in attending the payroll tax grouping session as I’ve recently been involved in some payroll tax grouping litigation.

What do you like to do when you’re not knee-deep in tax?

At the moment when I’m not knee-deep in tax, I’m knee-deep in nappies looking after my wonderful new daughter.


Join us in Perth for The Tax Institute's 28th National ConventionWith an expert team of leading tax professionals shaping the content and a growing list of delegates who are amongst the best and brightest in the tax profession, the National Convention is undoubtedly the premier taxation conference in Australia.



Thursday, 8 January 2015

Financial Services Taxation Conference Speaker Profile: Patrick Grob CTA

Patrick is Head of Tax at Suncorp Group Ltd with over 20 years of financial services experience both in Australian and the UK.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I’ve been affiliated with the Tax Institute for over 8 years.

What does the Financial Services Taxation Conference mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

Excellent opportunity for industry leaders and peers to share information and insight, across various issues affecting Financial Services and the economy as a whole. 

What is the topic that you are presenting at the Financial Services Taxation Conference and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

The Financial Services Tax Function in a Changing World. I will cover practical experience / insights to working with “offshore” partners in the preparation of tax effect accounting and income tax return work papers. Attendees can expect practical insights into challenges for tax functions and some of the changes.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

Practical examples/insight, together with various professional services insights.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending?

The Politics of Taxation Reform

What do you like to do when you’re not knee-deep in tax?

Travel overseas with my wife and four children.


Join us on the Gold Coast for The Tax Institute's 2015 Financial Services Taxation Conference, Australia's leading financial services taxation conference. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Financial Services Taxation Conference Speaker Profile: Tim Kyle CTA

Tim Kyle is a director of Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, as it is now, where he looks after financial services clients. Tim is also on the organising committee for this conference.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

Since last millennium.

What does the Financial Services Taxation Conference mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

One of, if not the, premier tax conference in Australia.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the Financial Services Taxation Conference and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

I will be providing an update on capital management issues. Attendees will gain a better understanding of non-tax drivers as well as capital management. They will learn about the different forms of capital management in the financial services industry and the latest tax developments associated with them.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending?

Part IVA, Murray review

What do you like to do when you’re not knee-deep in tax?

Get fit by chasing 4 children under 6!


Join us on the Gold Coast for The Tax Institute's 2015 Financial Services Taxation Conference, Australia's leading financial services taxation conference.