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Showing posts from April, 2014

Speaker Profile: The ‘new’ Part IVA – what is the experience so far?

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with James Pettigrew, ATI from Deloitte who is on the panel for The ‘new’ Part IVA – what is the experience so far? session at the upcoming 7th Annual Tax Forum.

Tell us about yourself

I am a partner in the financial services tax group of Deloitte based in Sydney. I advise clients in the banking, financial services, infrastructure, and property sectors.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been involved with The Tax Institute since August of 1998.

What does The Tax Forum mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

The Tax Forum is an opportunity to get industry specialists together to share knowledge with the broader membership of The Tax Institute on a range of current matters of interest.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the 7th Annual Tax forum?

I am on the discussion panel for “The ‘new’ Part IVA – what is the experience so far?” session.

What can attendees expect to learn from your…

Next steps: Alleviating the burden on small business

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The Board of Taxation has now commenced its fast-track review into impediments in the tax system for small business. Members will recall that the Federal Government recently announced this review at our National Convention in Hobart.

As I have said before, there is significant work to be done in simplifying the existing tax laws to alleviate the compliance burden on small business. As members would be well aware, often measures which were originally brought in to assist small business and simply their tax affairs have proven to be prohibitively complex.

The Board has been asked to identify features of the tax system that unreasonably or unnecessarily hinder small business from growing and achieving their commercial goals. The Board is to identify the short and medium-term priorities for small business tax reform, with particular focus on high priority options for simplification and deregulation. The focus will be on aspects of the tax system that unreasonably impede the goals of a bro…

Tax reform is yet to come

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It’s crucial that the government takes a whole-of-nation approach to addressing the myriad issues raised in the Henry Review.

The government’s much anticipated Tax Reform White Paper, which I noted in my previous column, is an ideal forum to deal with these broader issues. In our recent federal Budget submission, we called for reform of taxation of trusts to be dealt with as part of this process. Reform of the rules governing the taxation of trusts is essential to provide certainty to the thousands of taxpayers that use trusts, reduce compliance costs and prevent outcomes that are inconsistent with the policy intent.

Reform of state taxes to create a more efficient tax system while boosting investment and growth should also be addressed as part of this consultation. By taking a leadership position on state tax reform, the government has an opportunity to bring the states on board with a unified vision for tax reform in Australia. Potentially, this could lead to a greater role for cons…

Speaker Profile: How to treat costs associated with buy-sell transactions and corporate restructures

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Craig Duncan from PwC who is presenting the How to treat costs associated with buy-sell transactions and corporate restructures session with Mark Edmonds at the upcoming 7th Annual Tax Forum.

Tell us about yourself

I am a Director in the PwC Indirect Taxes Group in Sydney specialising in GST and have over twelve years’ experience in both Australian and UK indirect taxes.

I specialise in advising clients on GST issues on projects including; IPOs, takeovers of public companies, mergers, buying and selling companies and assets, domestic and international corporate reorganisations and public private partnerships.

What does The Tax Forum mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

The annual Tax Forum is an important event, not only from a tax technical training perspective, but it is also a great environment to network with peers in the tax industry.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the 7th Annual Tax forum?

Th…

Member survey findings

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To ensure that we continue to be responsive to members’ needs, the Institute once again participated in the Annual Business and Professions Study run by Beaton Research + Consulting. This survey measures member satisfaction, engagement and the overall performance of the Institute, and benchmarks the Institute against other associations in the market.

The results showed that we are generally getting things right, maintaining high scores for member engagement, keeping members up to date, and value of membership.

We appreciate members’ feedback, which continually helps us to confirm that we are moving in the right direction and ensures that we quickly respond to any areas needing improvement.

2014-15 membership renewal

Being a member of The Tax Institute means you have demonstrated a strong level of technical knowledge of the tax system and the highest level of ethical and professional conduct.

I invite all members to renew your membership online. This year, all online renewals made befor…

Commission of Audit report

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As we head into the Easter long-weekend, the Federal Government is mulling over the release of its Commission of Audit report.

The Commission was established by the Government as an independent body to review and report on the Government’s performance, functions and roles.

The report is expected to be released publicly next week and will contain recommendations for wide-ranging and substantial reductions in government spending, including suggested changes to the size and operations of government departments and agencies.

The Government’s response to the Audit report will be detailed in the May Budget, which may also contain new revenue measures to assist in addressing the deficit.

Technical Committees at The Tax Institute

A quick reminder to members about the opportunity to become a member of the Tax Institute’s technical committees.

I encourage members who wish to become involved in the technical committees to consider the new structure (that was outlined in my previous blog post) and…

Meet a member: Judy White, CTA at BDO

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Name

Judy White, CTA

Company

BDO

State

Queensland

Member since

2009

Areas of specialty

I specialise in three key areas of taxation:

employment taxes, particularly fringe benefits tax and superannuation guarantee;tax effect accounting; andaccounting and taxation advice (including GST implementation) to the financial services industry, drawing on my experience of working with credit union clients since 1999.
Why are you a member of The Tax Institute?

I consider my membership of The Tax Institute a great privilege, especially given the experience I've gained through the networks I've developed and the education programs.

I became a member for two reasons. First, I was lecturing with the Institute on its education programs so had first-hand insight into the value to be gained through membership. Second, I was very interested in the events provided by the Institute, most notably the financial services conference because of the link to my sector specialisation, and membership provided add…

Speaker Profile: When the ATO comes knocking...

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Lyndall Cromption, CTA from Riordans Lawyers who is presenting the When the ATO comes knocking session with Craig Jackson, CTA at the upcoming 7th Annual Tax Forum.

Tell us about yourself

I am the Assistant Commissioner of Taxation based in the World Square offices in Sydney. I have worked with the ATO for a period of 10 years. During that time I have worked in the areas of provision of advice, disputes and litigation and most recently have the national responsibility for developing the compliance strategy for the banking and finance industry.

A key aspect of the national banking and finance strategy role is consulting with taxpayers, industry bodies and advisors on industry issues, with a focus of resolving problems and providing guidance.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I am a Chartered Tax Adviser with The Tax Institute and have been a member since 2003.

What does The Tax Forum mean to you, and mor…

Join a Tax Institute Technical Committee

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I am pleased to advise all members of an important and exciting opportunity to potentially become an active member of The Tax Institute’s technical committees.

The purpose of our technical committee structure is to support the policy and advocacy activities of The Tax Institute as carried out by the Tax Policy and Advocacy team and to ensure that member concerns with tax law and administration are represented.

A re-tuning of this purpose, combined with the fact that the ATO has a new consultative model, has resulted in changes to our committee structure. These changes aim to ensure that as many Tax Institute members as possible are actively engaged in supporting our policy and advocacy activities and that volunteer members are fully engaged with driving the purpose of the committees. They also seek to ensure that there is appropriate geographic representation and input into committee activities.

The new technical committee structure comprises:

Large Business (large business and interna…

Cutting the tax red tape

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Consultation in full swing

One of the things I did not appreciate until I became president was how much involvement I would have in signing off on submissions and participating in consultations with the Tax Office and with Treasury in relation to new legislation.

Recently I spent half a day consulting on a measure that is designed to protect taxpayers who relied upon measures that had been announced but which will now not be enacted as a result of the Assistant Treasurer’s announcement in December last year. I expect that by the time you are reading this column the draft legislation will have been released for public comment. I have also been involved in a consultation about a potential new law that would give the Commissioner power to alter the operation of the tax law to remedy outcomes that are unintended or anomalous. This measure is at a very early stage of gestation – the government has not yet considered whether it would be prepared to propose such a law. Subject to seeing the …

Speaker Profile: Taxpayer Alerts – Be Alert and Alarmed

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Tony Riordan, CTA from Riordans Lawyers who is presenting the Taxpayer Alerts – Be Alert and Alarmed session with Arthur Athanasiou, CTA at the upcoming 2014 Private Business Tax Retreat.

Tell us about yourself

I am the tax partner at Riordans Lawyers a boutique commercial practice in Melbourne’s CBD. I have a particular interest in the structuring of entities and in trust law.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been involved in The Tax Institute’s activity for in excess of 25 years.

What does the 2014 Private Business Tax Retreat mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

The Private Business Tax Retreat enables an exchange of views and the enhancement of knowledge in a collegiate atmosphere.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the 2014 Private Business Tax Retreat?

I will be presenting on two topics at the retreat, Session 1 “Taxpayer Alerts – Be Alert and Alarmed” and Session 5…

Alleviating the compliance burden on small business

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The Federal Government recently announced that the Board of Taxation will conduct a fast-track review of impediments in the tax system that unreasonably affect small business. The announcement was made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, at our 29th National Convention in Hobart.

There is significant work to be done in respect of simplifying existing tax laws to alleviate the compliance burden on small business and so we welcome this review by the Board of Taxation. As practitioners would be well aware, measures which were originally brought in to assist small business and simply their tax affairs have proved to be prohibitively complex.

The current small business CGT concessions are an obvious example. The operation of these concessions is problematic due to the complex nature of the rules. The provisions are so complex that it is difficult for a small business to confirm that they qualify for a concession under the rules. Seeking advice on wheth…

Helping financial advisers meet the new TASR requirements

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From 1 July 2014, the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 applies to Australian financial service licence holders who provide tax advice. This has resulted in the creation of a new category which you may need to register as — the tax (financial) adviser.

If this affects your financial adviser, or your colleagues, let them know about the resources we offer, and our free "Financial Planners and Tax Advice" video on our website.

Tax Knowledge eXchange

With our new title The Tax Adviser’s Guide to Part IVA now available, the online books package for the Tax Knowledge eXchange has grown to include seven titles. In a few months, we’ll also be adding the new edition of Trusts and Estates: Taxation and Practice, giving you access to eight practical guides and handbooks and eight CPD hours.

That means you can now take care of up to 20 of your CPD hour requirements with a Tax Knowledge eXchange subscription.

A Course in Commercial Law

The completion of a suitable course in commercial law is now…

Discretionary trusts: a wider perspective (download free article)

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A popular business, investment and tax planning vehicle, the establishment of a discretionary trust is not a difficult task. Indeed, a deed may be obtained “off-the-shelf”. But care is always needed to ensure that the deed as drafted is satisfactory from a trust law perspective and also has the requisite flexibility for taxation purposes (for example, that there is power to “stream” particular kinds of amounts and that the beneficiary class is wide enough).

It also needs to be understood that, despite the wide terms of a discretionary trust deed, issues of fiduciary duty (for example, where the appointor/guardian (or whatever) is also a discretionary object) or undue influence may arise. These issues may well become live issues where there is contention between the potential objects of a discretionary trust (for example, family members).

This article by John Gaal, author of Discretionary Trust Distributions, originally published in Taxation in Australia, considers several recent decis…

Tax profession’s best and brightest recognised at the inaugural Tax Adviser of the Year Awards

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MEDIA RELEASE 28 March 2014:   The Tax Institute has announced the winners of the inaugural Tax Adviser of the Year Awards, showcasing the profession’s leading experts and rising stars.

Introduced as part of the Institute’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the awards recognise tax professionals across all levels of experience for their professionalism, leadership, high ethical standards and commitment to excellence.

The winners in each category – Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year, Tax Adviser of the Year and Emerging Tax Star – were announced at a ceremony in Hobart on Thursday, 27th of March during the Institute’s 29th National Convention.

The Chief Executive Officer of The Tax Institute, Noel Rowland, said there had been an overwhelming response to the awards.

“These awards celebrate excellence in tax. From an incredibly strong field of entrants, the judges selected three worthy winners at the top of their game or on their way to the top of this important profession,” Mr Rowland said.

Speaker Profile: Promoter Penalties session

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In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Damien Bourke from EY who is presenting the Promoter Penalties – The Receipt of a Section 353-10 Notice is as Daunting as the Regime Itself session at the upcoming 2014 Private Business Tax Retreat.

Tell us about yourself

I am a law partner with EY in Brisbane, the firm I joined following 15 years in practice in my own law firm. I have practiced in tax related litigation for much of my legal career. Recently, I undertook a mediation course which will help me to become accredited as mediator next month. My aim is to promote the early resolution of disputes before parties become entrenched and whilst costs can be maintained. Presently I am involved in the expansion of EY’s legal capability which is proceeding across the Asia Pacific region.

I live with my wife in New Farm Brisbane. I have one daughter aged 19 and another aged 15.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

For the whole of the time that I have bee…