Speaker Profile: Recent Cases

In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Melanie Baker CTA from the Victorian Bar who is presenting the Recent Cases session at the upcoming 29th National Convention in Hobart.

Tell us about yourself

I am a barrister at the Victorian Bar with over 14 years of experience in the field of taxation. I appear in, and advise in relation to, taxation matters for both taxpayers and the Commissioner of Taxation.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been affiliated with The Tax Institute since 2003.

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

The National Convention is a fantastic conference, which brings together tax professionals from all over Australia. The conference program invariably covers topical tax issues in a practical way, without compromising technical accuracy.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the 29th National Convention?

The Recent cases session on day two.

What can attendees expect to learn from your session?

It is a case update, so I am hoping to give attendees an overview of some of the more interesting and topical cases decided since last year’s National Convention. I am also going to provide some statistics concerning the taxpayers’ success (or otherwise) in challenging decisions of the Commissioner before the Courts.

What new or hot topics will you cover?

By definition, all the cases will be new. Attendees will have to rely on me to cover the ‘hot’ cases though, because I won’t have time to talk about them all!

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

By keeping them up to date with what the Courts have been up to recently.

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

It is a tough call. It is fair to say that the issues to be dealt with by pretty much all of the sessions could potentially be relevant to me, because I receive briefs across all the segments – individuals, SMEs and large corporates. If I’m forced to make a selection though, it would have to be the session on the tax deductibility of interest – both because of the subject matter and the speaker.

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

I enjoy bushwalking, although I haven’t done as much of it as I should since I tackled the Great Ocean Walk a year or so ago. During the week it took to walk from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, there was one day that involved hiking for miles along a beach, which had very soft sand, in strong headwinds and 43 degree heat while carrying an 18kg pack. Suffice to say, it broke me just a little…

29th National Convention 2014
You’re invited to join us in Hobart for the 29th National Convention 26-28 March 2014. The Tax Institute’s National Convention is widely recognised as the essential annual event for tax professionals. But hurry! Advanced pricing ends this Friday!

Find out more about the conference and register now.

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