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Showing posts from August, 2014

August's free member tax presentations

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Here’s a selection of presentations from our leading events series from August.

Members of The Tax Institute can access these presentations for free by clicking the links below (make sure you’re logged in to our website first).

Non-members can purchase the presentations for only $15 each. Briefing an expert - Don't pay twice for your valuation report presentation (Sarah Blakelock, CTA and Brian Wood)Deceased estates: A practical perspective presentation (Loreena Gillon, CTA)Deceased estates: Death & SMSF presentation (Greg Bentley, CTA)July bi-monthly tax update presentation (Brad Hooper, Lucy Whitham)Maximum net asset value test presentation (Dr Philip Bender) Small business CGT masterclass presentation(Eugene Berkovic, CTA)Applying the concessions presentation (Joanna Monahan, CTA)Payroll tax presentation(Will Fennell)Contractors & employees presentation (Rebecca Nicola)Taxpayer Alert TA 2013/3 professional practice structures presentation (John Tucker)Recent developments …

Searching for a “savvy” tax administrator

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The Pt IVA panel session at the Corporate Tax Retreat highlighted to me the importance of the approach that the ATO takes to the administration of our tax laws. One of the givens of our income tax system is that people should generally only pay tax on their economic gains, but a consequence of our increasingly complex laws is that transactions may, on a literal interpretation of the law, trigger significant tax liabilities even though they do not produce any economic gain.

One example provided during the panel session on Pt IVA was the acquisition by a non-resident of an Australian tax consolidated group. In the example provided, if the non-resident acquired the group directly, it might trigger CGT event L5. CGT event L5 can happen if the tax cost of assets is less than the liabilities. It is a quirk of the law that the acquisition of a tax consolidated group by a second tax consolidated group does not give rise to an L5 gain, whereas the acquisition of the same group by a single entit…

Inaugural meeting of the new Tax Reform Committee

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This week The Tax Institute's new Tax Reform Committee held its inaugural meeting. The Committee is comprised of an impressive and diverse line up of members from various backgrounds in public practice, commerce, government and academia, and is chaired by our President Michael Flynn CTA.

The creation of the Committee this year formalises the importance of big picture thinking on tax reform as part of the Institute's policy and advocacy activities. The calibre of the volunteers on this Committee is an indication that there is a genuine interest within the Institute's membership in contributing to the overall design of the tax system. 

There is no doubt the Institute's work on coal face issues is very important and has a significant and direct impact on members on a practical level. Having moved to the Institute at the beginning of this year from professional practice I am well aware that, as a tax practitioner, the concerns of specific clients, the vagaries of ATO guida…

Upgrading your tax qualifications and meeting your CPD requirements

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Taxation and Practice

August sees us publish the long-awaited third edition of the pre-eminent source for immediate, authoritative answers to trusts and estates issues, with Marks’ Trusts & Estates: Taxation and Practicebeing fully revised and updated for 2014. Find out more about this online title by visiting taxinstitute.com.au/publications. CPD requirements for upcoming year

With the new financial year underway, it is a fantastic time to start planning for how you will acquire your CPD requirements. We offer our members several industry-relevant publications and events that provide current information to help you stay up-to-date. These offerings are made available to you in a variety of formats — be that at one of our state conferences or seminars, online, in person or by DVD — and are continually being updated and developed to meet the needs of our members. You will find upcoming events, courses and publications to help you meet your CPD requirements on our website at taxinstitu…

Dispute resolution and Project DO IT

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Dispute resolution

This week The Tax Institute appeared before the House of Representatives Tax and Revenue Committee to give evidence relating to our submission to the Committee’s inquiry into the ATO’s handling of dispute resolution. The Tax Institute's President, Michael Flynn CTA and Co-Chair of our Dispute Resolution Committee, Dr Niv Tadmore CTA, joined Tax Counsel, Thilini Wickramasuriya ATI at the Committee hearing.

The Committee comprises ten members of the House of Representatives, with six Government MPs and four non-Government MPs. It is Chaired by former tennis great, John Alexander OAM, MP.

The Hansard containing our evidence will be available on the Parliament House website in the coming days. We look forward to again engaging with the Tax and Revenue Committee on future hearings into other important issues affecting members.

Project DO IT

Members would be aware of the ATO’s offshore income voluntary disclosure initiative, Project DO IT.

We at the Institute supported the …

Critical consumer protections at risk due to poorly planned Government move

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A Federal Government move to allow financial planners to provide tax advice fails to set appropriate tax and commercial law education requirements and threatens critical consumer protections, according to The Tax Institute.

Michael Flynn, President of The Tax Institute, said, “We are concerned that recent Government Regulations will allow relatively inexperienced financial advisers to gain registration under the Tax Agent Services Regime by simply joining a recognised financial adviser professional association.

“The Government’s actions result in there being no requirement for financial advisers to have completed a course in tax or commercial law, and yet the effect of this will be to allow them to provide wide-ranging tax advice.

“This means that consumers will be at risk of receiving tax advice and services provided by inadequately qualified advisers or those with out-of-date skills,” he said.

According to Michael Flynn, the Government’s move is surprising given the recent Senate Econom…

Media Release: Launch of Inaugural Postgraduate Qualification

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DATE: 11 August 2014

The Tax Institute has been formally recognised as a higher education provider and is now the only professional association in Australia providing a postgraduate qualification in tax.

As Australia’s leading educator and professional association in tax, The Tax Institute has gained accreditation for its new Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law qualification.

According to Noel Rowland, CEO of The Tax Institute, “Over the next decade and beyond the complexity of the tax environment will intensify. This complexity will be driven by shifts right across the taxation system.
“As a result, tax professionals need to equip themselves with the skills and capabilities to provide higher-order professional tax advice.

“The new postgraduate course, Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law, to be launched in the coming months is designed to meet the changing needs of, and demands on, tax professionals in the next decade and beyond.

“This is a significant milestone for the tax professio…

The need for minimum education requirements for financial advisers

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As I have mentioned before in TaxVine, a Federal Government move to allow financial planners to provide tax advice fails to set appropriate tax and commercial law education requirements, thereby threatening critical consumer protections.

The Tax Institute is concerned that recent Government Regulations will allow relatively inexperienced financial advisers to gain registration under the Tax Agent Services Regime by simply joining a recognised financial adviser professional association.

The Government's actions result in there being no requirement for financial advisers to have completed a course in tax or commercial law, and yet the effect of this will be to allow them to provide wide-ranging tax advice.

This means that consumers will be at risk of receiving tax advice and services provided by adequately qualified advisers or those with out-of-date skills.

This is a particularly curious move by the Government, given the recent Senate Economics References Committee's investigation …

Education requirements for financial planners and issues with ATO IT systems

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Corporate Tax Retreat

In the first week of July, I attended the Corporate Tax Retreat at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast. The Corporate Tax Retreat is an event that the Queensland Division has held for a number of years. This year, for the first time, the organising committee included a number of members from New South Wales and Victoria and the event was marketed nationally.

The intensive was very successful. A highlight for me was the panel session on the application of the amended Pt IVA. I hope this event continues to grow in stature and attracts more participants from interstate. The Tax Institute will continue to encourage the state divisions to develop and market conferences that can draw participants from across Australia. It is a feature of the current tax education landscape that the events that are successful and well-supported are those organised on a national basis. This provides a challenge to the State Education Committees which are accustomed to organising events aimed a…

New Tax for Trusts, Estate Planning and Wealth Management course

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New Tax for Trusts, Estate Planning and Wealth Management course

Another month, another exciting education course launch!

Building directly on a strong foundation in the areas of trusts, estate planning and wealth management currently supported through our publications, CPD events, and online resources, The Tax Institute is meeting the profession’s demand by distilling our expertise into a formal education course.

The Tax for Trusts, Estate Planning and Wealth Management course gives you the skills to advise on wealth accumulation and management strategies, and is essential for any practitioner who wants to understand complex tax matters relating to trusts and estates.

Not only is this course taught by the highly respected industry expert Harry Rigney, CTA, it is also supported by the revised edition of Marks’ Trusts & Estates: Taxation and Practice.

For more information, go to taxinstitute.com.au/education.

Tax rates table 2014-15

In this month’s journal, you will find your c…

Improving access to child care through the tax system

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The Productivity Commission recently released its interim report into child care and early childhood learning.

The Tax Institute contributed to the Commission’s inquiry earlier this year and argued that two options for improving access to child care through the tax system would be to allow a tax deduction for child care costs and to use a refundable tax credit or cash grant.

Tax deductions for the costs of child care, if appropriately targeted, would encourage highly educated women who bear the primary responsibility for domestic duties to return to work.

Tax deductions should only be available to reduce the tax on income from employment or self-conducted business income so that they are unequivocally tied to enhancing productivity.  That is, there is no point giving a subsidy to reduce the tax on investment income.  As such, we do not support subsidising the child care expenses of a parent who is still at home earning bank interest or share dividends.
The advantage of making child care c…