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Showing posts from February, 2014

Speaker Profile: Transfer Pricing

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Paul Balkus from Ernst & Young who is presenting the Transfer Pricing session at the upcoming 29th National Convention in Hobart.

Tell us about yourself

I have led Ernst & Young’s Oceania transfer pricing practice and have over 20 years of experience in the field of transfer pricing, servicing a broad range of clients. I have been involved in all aspects of transfer pricing including advance pricing arrangements, dispute resolution, planning and documentation.

I also have experience addressing transfer pricing issues in connection with various planning strategies involving IP migration, establishment of procurement centres, global IT system roll-outs, business restructurings and intercompany financing and service arrangements.

I have been instrumental in putting together and implementing a number of audit defence strategies which has spanned across a broad range of industries including: media and entertainment; telec…

On the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

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With the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sydney on the weekend, the Australian Government had some positive news earlier last week on the international front, releasing details of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The FTA is expected to formally enter into force at the end of 2014 and importantly, it will make significant changes in key areas including legal, accounting and financial services.

Following the full implementation of the FTA, effectively all of Australia’s exports to Korea will be free from tariffs or other trade barriers. The new commercial opportunities for Australian businesses are potentially significant.

The FTA offers Australian service providers the opportunity to compete in the Korean market on an equal level with competitors from the US, EU and ASEAN countries.

These provisions also seek to promote mutual recognition of professional qualifications and improved residency and business visa access arrangements for Australian…

From Clerk to CTA – Jason Barnes member profile

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“Back yourself and take the opportunities presented by tax reform with both hands.”

Name: Jason Barnes, CTA
Company: Greenwoods & Freehills Pty Ltd
State: Victoria
Member since: 2005

Areas of specialty

Primarily income tax (including tax audits and litigation), but I’ve also dabbled in goods and services tax, stamp duty and aspects of petroleum resource rent tax. My focus has historically been on financing, international and cross-border, commercial and capital management transactions for clients in the financial services and natural resource industries.

Why are you a member of The Tax Institute?

The opportunity to attend seminars and conferences at which the best tax practitioners in the country present, and to network with clients, colleagues and other practitioners. Much like undertaking postgraduate studies, being a member of The Tax Institute is becoming a prerequisite for tax professionals.

How is your membership beneficial to your practice and clients?

In addition to learning and …

Speaker Profile: Australia’s Response to the OECD’s BEPS Policy

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Michael O’Neill from the Australian Taxation Office who is presenting the Australia’s Response to the OECD’s BEPS Policy session at the upcoming 2014 Financial Services Taxation Conference on the Gold Coast.

Tell us about yourself

I have worked in a law firm, in a big four law firm and with several agencies including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Taxation Office.

As a lawyer, I have acted as a prosecutor, investigator and project leader for multi-agency or multi-jurisdictional projects.

I have worked on international tax matters for almost 8 years, including in Project Wickenby. I am the lead of the International Practice in the ATO.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been affiliated with the Tax Institute for approximately 5 years.

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

It is an oppor…

Child care and tax deductibility

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We recently lodged our submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into future options for child care and early childhood learning.

Our submission is particularly focussed on the following part of the inquiry’s terms of reference:

Options for enhancing the choices available to Australian families as to how they receive child care support, so that this can occur in the manner most suitable to their individual family circumstances. Mechanisms to be considered include subsidies, rebates and tax deductions, to improve the accessibility, flexibility and affordability of child care for families facing diverse individual circumstances.
There are many women who would participate in the workforce except for the unavailability of child care. In many cases these individuals would earn higher wages than the wages of the child care workers. Therefore, a tax concession to subsidise the cost of child care should provide a positive benefit to the Australian economy by generating tax revenue i…

Speaker Profile: Potential to bust-proof a trust?

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Matthew Burgess CTA  from McCullough Robertson who is presenting the Potential to bust-proof a trust? session at the upcoming SME Structures and Restructures in Brisbane on Thursday 27 February 2014.

Tell us about yourself

My passion is helping clients successfully achieve their goals. This is generally achieved through collaborative planning and implementation with accountants, financial advisers, risk advisers and other lawyers. For almost 10 years, we have done this on a fixed price basis.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

Since 1997, in one way or another.

What does the SME Structures & Restructures event mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

This event has enjoyed a leading reputation for many years and with good reason. I am therefore very grateful for the opportunity to be involved as one of the presenters in 2014.

What is the topic that you are presenting at SME Structures &…

Introducing 2014 President Michael Flynn part 2: The year just gone

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The year just gone was unusual in that it saw a new Commissioner and a new government, both of whom have shaken up the status quo. The new Commissioner has completely revamped the profession’s consultation arrangements with the ATO, terminating many longstanding committees and introducing a new process for conducting consultation. The new model is in its infancy and I anticipate that we will be testing and refining the new consultation arrangements during the first half of this year.

Senator Sinodinos also started his term with a bang by dealing swiftly with the 100+ announced but unenacted legislative amendments left over from the previous government.  The abandonment of some of these measures was welcome, such as the proposed disallowance of tax deductions for self-education above $2,000. The Institute was prominent in opposing that measure. But some of the other measures that were abandoned were designed to cure legislative anomalies.

There is a danger that some taxpayers and their…

Getting the most out of your membership: Paper of the Month

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This series of articles – once a month for 2014 – are designed to help you get the most out of your membership. In addition to the well renowned Taxation in Australia journal, our members receive an extensive list of resources and benefits to help them in their careers.

Paper of the Month

Did you know that The Tax Institute holds over 350 CPD events each year?

Just think of how many sessions and presentations that equates to. Each presentation – and accompanying paper – covers a different topic and designed to bring its audience up-to-date with the latest tax law or update.

Well fortunately these excellent materials are not wasted. They are all upload to our extensive Tax Knowledge eXchange research service (well over 65,000 records and counting!) for subscribers and one technical paper is selected each month for free to members.

Have you read this month’s?

Stay up to date

The Paper of Month is advertised each month in our TaxVine Newsletter and on the home page of our website. To acces…

Speaker Profile: Penalty Provisions

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Paul Sokolowski from Arnold Bloch Leibler who is presenting the Penalty Provisions session at the upcoming 29th National Convention in Hobart.

Tell us about yourself

I am a Partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler and the practice leader of the firm’s taxation practice. I provide strategic and technical advice to a diverse range of Australian and international clients, with an emphasis on significant and complex audits, disputes and litigation.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been affiliated with The Tax Institute for 15 years now.

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

The National Convention provides opportunity to learn about, and discuss, topical technical and administrative tax issues. Importantly, it provides the opportunity to catch up with old, and meet new, professional colleagues from around the country.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the…

Welcome to the first Senior Tax Counsel report for 2014

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I hope that all members had an opportunity to take some time to relax with friends and family over the ensuing period.

It is clear that tax reform will be on the national political and business agenda this year.

The Federal Government's commitment to produce a tax white paper to investigate options for an overhaul of our tax system ensures as much. But will the Government pick up the tax reform ball and run with it to the next election as they have hinted? Our tax system certainly needs such bold action and our economic and Budgetary position ensures that reticence is not an option.

Taxation is one of the most complex and delicate policy areas entrusted to lawmakers and administrators, with one misaligned lever in the boiler room prone to cause calamity on other decks.

So while tax professionals want reform, we also want it to occur in an ordered way that addresses known structural problems without creating unwanted or unforeseen new ones.

In 2014, let's hope our political lea…

Introducing 2014 President Michael Flynn part 1: What lies ahead

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In this month’s column, the Institute’s new president, Michael Flynn, looks ahead at some of the key objectives for 2014, as well as likely developments in tax following the determination of the future of a multitude of unenacted tax measures in late 2013.

I am excited to be writing my first president’s column and looking forward to the year ahead.

On behalf of all our members, I congratulate Steve Westaway for his hard work and leadership during 2013. Steve was totally committed to the Institute during his year as president, and I was particularly impressed with the time and energy he contributed to assisting the Tax Policy team in preparing submissions and consulting with the ATO and government. Steve steps down from National Council, where his experience and wisdom will be sorely missed, but has told me he is happy to be called upon if we need his help.

Your National Councillors for 2014 are:

Michael Flynn: PresidentStephen Healey: Vice-President, Chair, National Technical Committee…

A message from The CEO: TaxVine Is Changing

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Welcome to a new year

We’re excited to be back and are gearing up for another great year, bringing you some great education programs and events, like the 2014 Tax Adviser of the Year Awards, the winners of which will be announced next month at the 29th National Convention in Hobart.

Summer sale – ends 14 February

Our summer sale ends soon. If you’ve been meaning to pick up any of our sale items, make sure you do so before Friday, 14 February.

Notice to members – TaxVine is changing

TaxVine delivers the latest tax news via email to every member each Friday. This year, you’ll notice TaxVine has a new look and a clearer layout.

If you’re viewing TaxVine on your mobile or tablet device, you’ll find an optimised experience for easier reading and navigation. To gauge member feedback, we’ll be testing the new layout with half of our membership mailing list for two months, so if you don’t receive the new version don’t worry, it’ll be coming to you when we roll out the final version incorporating…