Monday, 29 December 2014

Financial Services Taxation Conference Speaker Profile: Judy Morris CTA

Judy Morris joined the Australian Taxation Office in 2009. Prior to joining the Tax Office, Judy was a Corporate Tax Partner with a large advisory firm. She has also worked as Head of Tax for a large Australian listed group.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been a member of the Tax Institute since 2001.

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

The Conference is an important opportunity to hear about issues specifically relevant to financial services and share experiences and perspectives.

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

My colleague James Campbell and I will present on the ATO’s Changing Approach to Resolution of Banking and Finance Industry Issues.
Delegates will learn about approaches the ATO is using through its Banking and Finance Strategy for the identification and resolution of key areas of concern. This will include specific practical initiatives in relation to consultation processes and the types of products the ATO is using to provide greater certainty.  Delegates will learn what this means for them and how they can participate.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

What delegates learn from our session will help them help their clients to understand how the ATO is approaching and managing key areas of concern through its Banking and Finance Strategy.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending
  • Update on Capital Management Issues
  • Recent Developments in Thin Capitalisation
  • Part IVA

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

I like to get out and go bushwalking in summer and cross country skiing in winter.


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

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Wishing you a safe and happy festive season

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the holiday period. I look forward to bringing you more great benefits and opportunities in 2015.

With the year quickly coming to a close, I wish to acknowledge those who have volunteered their time and hard work, both this year and over the last 71 years, to make The Tax Institute the success it is today. In particular, a very big thank you to our committees, volunteers, National Council, and particularly Michael Flynn, 2014 president, for their valuable contributions throughout the year.

Launch your employees’ tax career by studying the Graduate Diploma

Since its launch, we have received many enquiries regarding how candidates can secure a career advantage by studying for the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law.

Your employees can join the 2015 program now. Once they have reviewed the Graduate Diploma brochure, key dates and fees, and FAQs, we recommend that they locate their:
  • current resume; and
  • academic transcripts.
Then call an expert via 1300 TAX EDU (1300 829 338) to check their eligibility to apply for enrolment into the Graduate Diploma, and discuss how this program
can help them reach their career goals. Find out more and enrol at taxinstitute.com.au/GradDip.

Summer sale on now

Our summer sale includes some great offers on a wide range of books, CPD on DVD titles, and more. Save up to 50% and pick up one of our special CPD on DVD boxset offers, back by popular demand. Visit our website for more information.

Have you downloaded our new app?

The Tax Institute app brings you Taxation in Australia each month on your iPad or Android tablet, alongside a range of great content from The Tax Institute. You’ll also find each week’s TaxVine in the app, along with your free paper of the month.

Download the app from iTunes or Google Play and discover what’s new for yourself.


Noel Rowland
Noel Rowland is Chief Executive Officer 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.

Monday, 15 December 2014

National Convention Speaker Profile: Andy Hutt

Andy Hutt is the leader of KPMG’s Global Mobility Services in the Asia / Pacific region and is responsible for ensuring that their clients receive a consistently high standard of service across the region.

He is also the partner in charge of the Australian Global Mobility Services Practice. Andy has more than 20 years’ experience in Australia and the UK of advising clients on the taxation and financial aspects of both employee mobility and incentive arrangements.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

Twelve years.

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

It’s a great opportunity to share your experiences with peers and to contribute to the ongoing high performance of the profession.

What will you be presenting and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

I’ll be discussing tax issues in structuring an effective executive package. I’ll cover topics such as:
  • Taxation of employee shares and options
  • Remuneration governance
  • Salary packaging
  • Relocation benefits /expatriate benefits

Participants will gain an understanding of the key things to think about when developing an executive remuneration package that’s fit for purpose.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

Delegates will be better able to consider the full range of tax issues that can impact an executive package. I make sure that Boards and HR teams are well informed.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending?
  • The practical realities of being a tax adviser.
  • The latest on the Australian Taxation Office Management of Tax Audits and disputes.

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

I enjoy running and coaching kid’s cricket teams.



Join us on the Gold Coast for The Tax Institute's 30th 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.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Tax policy and advocacy

One of the things that surprised me in my early months as president is the number of submissions that the Institute makes to government and the ATO. Most of the submissions are the result of collaboration between our members and our three Tax Policy staff. During the year to date, the Institute has made over 50 submissions and has been involved in a number of consultations, including:
  • the unenacted “protection measure” changes (protecting taxpayers in respect of certain unenacted measures that are not proceeding);
  • changes to employee share schemes;
  • changes to managed investment schemes;
  • CGT and non-resident issues and superannuation matters; and
  • the House of Representatives Tax and Revenue Committee which is responsible for, among other things, scrutiny of the ATO, including the ATO’s handling of tax disputes.
We have also consulted with the Board of Taxation on its reviews of Div 7A, the debt/equity tax rules, the thin capitalisation arm’s length debt test, and the review of
tax impediments facing small business.

We continue to consult with the ATO on a plethora of tax practitioner issues, the “Future Tax Industry” and a variety of technical and interpretive matters to ensure that
improvements are made to the administration and operation of the tax system.

Robert Jeremenko, Stephanie Caredes and Thilini Wickramasuriya all deserve a special thank you. None of this invaluable work could have been carried out without their support.

Thank you

Before finishing, I would like to add a number of further thank yous. Thank you to all of the staff at the Institute, led by CEO Noel Rowland, for supporting me and our members over the past 12 months. I also thank the members of National Council for their support during 2014, our state councillors and other state committee members, and all of the members of our event organising committees, without whom the Institute could not run such successful events.

Looking forward

The Institute has already prepared an exciting 2015 CPD program, including our flagship event, the 30th National Convention on the Gold Coast in March 2015 — please join us for the anniversary celebrations. I am also hoping that one of the initiatives I encouraged during my term as president — the revamping of our technical committees — will flourish during 2015 and beyond.

Finally, I extend my best wishes to Stephen Healey as incoming president for 2015.




Michael Flynn CTA is President of the National Council at 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, 10 December 2014

Looking back

This is my final President’s Report, so I cannot help but reflect on the past year.

Personal highlights have been attending the various conventions where I have had the opportunity to meet many of our members, representing the Institute before government, and working closely with Institute staff on a number of projects.

The Institute has clocked up a number of achievements over the past year. While each is significant in its own right, when you look at them collectively, they reflect a move away from the Institute’s traditional focus on providing smaller state-based professional development seminars.

First, the Institute achieved a major milestone in becoming recognised as a “higher education provider” and launching the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law in October.

Second, the Institute introduced four new courses as part of its education program:
Third, we had outstanding support from our members at a number of signature events, in particular, the National Convention in Hobart, the Financial Services Taxation Conference on the Gold Coast, the National Tax Intensive Retreat in Noosa, and the NSW Tax Forum which topped the 500 delegate mark for the first time. Online CPD continues to evolve, with our first on-demand services being launched and more than 2,000 people attending webinars in 2014.

I have noted these developments in my column throughout the year, but it bears repeating that, in combination, they mean that the Institute’s activities are likely to become increasingly focused on its formal education program, its signature CPD events, and the online delivery of other CPD.

Changes to the tax profession

We have also seen significant changes to the profession itself, particularly with the recognition of registered tax (financial) advisers by the Tax Practitioners Board.
This represents a significant addition to the tax profession. The Institute’s main concern has been to ensure that entrants to the tax profession have sufficient education and
experience to provide accurate tax advice.

From 2016 onwards, the proposed introduction of standard business reporting will also exert pressure on tax agents to change the way that they prepare tax returns. In the short term, these changes will create technological issues for tax agents, but in the longer term, the technological changes are likely to drive changes in the way that tax agents interact with their clients.




Michael Flynn CTA is President of the National Council at 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.
 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Upcoming CPD events

30th National Convention

Recognised as Australia’s premier taxation conference, the National Convention is being held at the RACV Royal Pines, Benowa, in Queensland on 18 to 20 March 2015.
This year, the National Convention will celebrate its 30th anniversary and we have much planned for this milestone.

This is the tax profession’s key annual event, so why not be part of it?

As always, the convention has been developed by an expert team, with over 30 sessions addressing the latest tax issues and a program that is technically relevant and practical. It is designed to meet the needs of tax professionals in all industries, at all stages of their career.

With a packed social schedule (including everything from networking with like-minded professionals and attending the trade show featuring exclusive offers from our business alliance partners, to attending the gala dinner where we will announce the Tax Adviser of the Year Awards), the National Convention is the must-attend event for tax professionals and the best way to get your CPD on track for 2015.

Visit taxinstitute.com.au to find out more or to register.

Financial Services Taxation Conference

Join us in Surfers Paradise for the 2015 Financial Services Taxation Conference, taking place on 18 to 20 February, at the Marriot Resort and Spa. The wide-ranging program covers TOFA, Pt IVA, infrastructure, transfer pricing, and more.


Noel Rowland
Noel Rowland is Chief Executive Officer 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.

Friday, 5 December 2014

ATO's National Tax Liaison Group

Earlier this week, Tax Institute President, Michael Flynn CTA, and Vice-President, Stephen Healey CTA, joined me at the ATO’s quarterly National Tax Liaison Group meeting.

At this meeting we discussed issues with the senior leadership of the ATO and Treasury, including:
review of ATO advice and guidance:
  • exploring the concept of ‘enabling’ ATO guidance, to facilitate mutual risk mitigation and allow for more useful guidance - sunset clauses, restricted reliance to classes of taxpayers and/or conditions on reliance (such as reporting / attestation requirements);
  • a project led by the Tax Institute to review and clean-up (initially part of) the existing suite of ATO advice and guidance;
    • identifying ways to increase timeliness of administrative or policy-based responses – how best to raise the ‘on the horizon’ issues;
    • the impact of possible compliance strategies on the ATO/taxpayer relationship and how the profession can foster willing participation;
  • progress of announced tax measures;
  • update on Tax White Paper & Federation White Paper;
  • the latest re the OECD BEPS projects and Forum of Tax Administration;
  • the Senate Economics References Committee’s Inquiry into tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation by corporations;
  • post-implementation review of the ATO Consultative Model in 2015;
  • review of effectiveness of current NTLG structure;
  • confidentiality in consultation; and
  • red tape reduction initiatives – safe harbours & importance of private sector efforts in reducing its own red tape.

The minutes from this meeting will be published on the ATO website in the coming weeks. I would be pleased to discuss any of the above with interested members; please be in touch via Tax Policy.
 
 
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.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Financial Services Taxation Conference Speaker Profile: Peter Oliver CTA

Peter Oliver is a Partner in the Financial Services Group at KPMG. He has over 15 years experience advising clients on corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border transactions within the financial services sector, particularly insurance, life insurance and funds management. He is heavily involved in industry consultation with Treasury and the ATO on life insurance and wealth management tax issues, both through the Financial Services Council’s Life Insurance Tax Working Group and on behalf of clients.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been affiliated with the Tax Institute for most of my career, attending various events including the Financial Services Taxation Conference.

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

I consider the Financial Services Taxation Conference to be the leading tax conference for the financial services sector, drawing together leading advisers and corporates.

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

Managed Investment Trusts: Where Are We Now? The Managed Investment Trust (MIT) legislation is a new regime, so of itself could be considered a “hot topic”. Within the MIT legislation, we will focus on such key aspects as qualification as a MIT, the treatment of “under and over” distributions, and character retention and flow through (and the vexed question of the treatment of tax-deferred distributions).
We hope to provide a concise analysis of Treasury’s draft MIT legislation which currently is slated to have a start date of 1 July 2015.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

As the MIT legislation is a new regime, it will obviously be of immense interest to the managed funds sector and their clients.

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

BEPs, John Hewson (Politics of tax reform) and Jeremy Hirschhorn (Part IVA).

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

Playing with my kids or playing soccer.


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