Thursday, 30 April 2015

NSW Tax Forum speaker profile: Nick Gangemi

Nick is a barrister at Second Floor Selborne Chambers. Nick’s practice involves trial advocacy in a number of areas, with a strong expertise in taxation and revenue law.  In this regard, Nick’s work has included negotiations with State and Federal tax authorities, objections and appeals from assessments, debt recovery and winding up applications by tax authorities. Nick also can also provide tax advice and assistance in relation to income tax, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reconstructions, international tax, transfer pricing, employee shares, goods and services tax, stamp duty, payroll tax and land tax.

In other areas, Nick has worked on equity and trusts, corporations law, commercial transactions and intellectual property. Nick has provided assistance in areas of general administrative law and migration law. Most recently, Nick has appeared for a plaintiff seeking professional indemnity from a tax adviser.

He has been associated with the Tax Institute since 2002.

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

The Tax Forum is the premier tax conference in NSW, on par with The Tax Institute’s national conferences. It brings together experts from across the industry, working in different sectors and for different clients. Not only does it cover the newest and hottest topics, but it has a broad reach that deals with areas not ordinarily covered elsewhere.

What is the topic that you are presenting and what can attendees expect to learn?

I'll be presenting on Trusts and Asset Protection – Myth or Fact? Attendees can expect to learn whether trusts are still are useful vehicle for protecting assets. More broadly, what can be done to ensure that a trust structure does protect assets.

What new or hot topics will you cover?

Some relatively recent cases in the family law area, which cause concern.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

Assist clients in providing a rounded view of trust structures and their use.

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

They are all pretty good. I will be interested to see Professor Gordon’s views on Ethics, while testamentary trusts are always interesting.

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

Is that possible?


Join us in Sydney for The Tax Institute's NSW 8th Annual Tax ForumWith 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.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

NSW Tax Forum speaker profile: Zubair Bangash

Zubair’s work experience spans approximately 21 years. 17 years have been in the area of taxation advisory and tax compliance with two prominent tax practices in Sydney, Australia.  His tax experience ranges from corporate taxation for large to medium sized corporate client in various industries, to taxation of trusts, to some advisory associated with partnerships and individuals.  He also has extensive tax experience with international clients, particularly in-bound work and cross-border tax issues.

Zubair’s is a Director at TMF Group and will celebrate 5 years with the company at the end of 2015.  TMF Group in Australia assists in bound multinational companies in meeting all of their required compliance and regulatory obligations.

He has been affiliated with The Tax Institute for over 10 years and approximately 8 years as a committee member with The Tax Institute’s Morning Tax Club.

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

It is one of the premier tax education events of the calendar year.  The forum covers current topics relating to all taxation matters and as such allows tax practitioners to be up-to-date on these matters.  In this regard the forum can also shape the current thinking on these relevant topics.

What is the topic that you are presenting and what can attendees expect to learn from the session?

I will be discussing residency.

The session will cover the current case law, spanning the last four years in relation to residency for all types of taxpayers and in particular individuals and company taxpayers.  In that period there have been a number of cases that would be of interest to tax practitioners.  The session will also cover double tax treaties and residency.

What new or hot topics will you cover?

The session covers recent cases on residency and in doing so will highlight the current state of play in relation to how the decisions in relation to residency came to pass.  In doing so, the session also covers the matter of residency in its entirety and for all types of taxpayers as well as the impact of the double tax treaties.  Finally, the session will cover attribution issues for change of residency as well as the recent change to the law regarding application of the 50% CGT discount for non-residents.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

This session will help delegates understand the current factors the courts consider in relation to determining residency. For individual taxpayers, all of these cases were heard in the AAT and the outcomes were varied even in situations that were quite similar.  Of the few cases regarding residency and companies, one in particular would be of interest to delegates that work with or for corporate taxpayers.  Specifically, in relation to overseas Australian controlled foreign companies.

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

The Part IVA session and Capital Management Issues are of interest.

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

My wife and I have 3 sons ranging from the ages of 7 to 16.  They keep us pretty busy, in particular the weekends as they are mad about their soccer (football). On Friday evenings, I always look forward to a game of squash. I find 6 – 8 games on a Friday evening is fantastic exercise and a great way to finish each week. 


Join us in Sydney for The Tax Institute's NSW 8th Annual Tax ForumWith 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.

Monday, 27 April 2015

The BEPS working group

It is difficult for businesses to organise their cross-border transactions on the basis of a diplomatic press release. The Treasurer's announcement earlier this week of a joint working group between Australia and the United Kingdom on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) is one such example. The announcement does not propose a clear change to the domestic law which can be assessed in a meaningful way, and only adds to the uncertainty of our tax environment.

Domestically, we have the federal tax white paper process well underway. Hinting at an additional integrity measure in the form of a diverted profits tax, without holding it up to the scrutiny of the tax white paper process, suggests the government is making tax policy decisions on the run.

Internationally, the OECD countries are already working on a resolution to multinational profit shifting collaboratively. Australia and the UK working on their own, or with a handful of G20 countries on the same issue, may result in a doubling up of efforts and inconsistencies.

The Tax Institute's media release in relation to the Treasurer's announcement can be found here.


Thilini Wickramasuriya FTI is a 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.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Conversation on tax reform

Yesterday, Perth-based members of The Tax Institute met with Robert Jeremenko, Chief of Staff of the Federal Government's Tax White Paper Unit and Sasha Grebe, Senior Adviser, Tax White Paper Unit to join in the national conversation on tax reform. Members had the opportunity to raise issues and provide their thoughts on matters that have been posited in the Tax Discussion Paper directly with the Tax White Paper Unit.

There are many other ways members can get involved in this conversation and we encourage members to use all channels available to have a say. In particular, we encourage members to contact us via Tax Policy if you want to get involved in the tax reform discussion.

There are plenty of other issues floating around that the Tax Policy team are or have been working on, ranging from the re-write of the taxation of the managed investment trust rules, through to the administration of the tax secrecy and transparency provisions and the South Australian State Tax Review. We encourage members to refer to the Submissions page on our website to see what we've been working on recently.


Stephanie Caredes CTA is a 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.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Our submission to the Senate Corporate Tax Avoidance inquiry

In life there are usually two numbers we keep to ourselves: our PIN and our TFN. The reasons for keeping the former private are straightforward, the reasons for keeping the latter private are more complex.

Australian law generally treats taxpayer information as sacrosanct; a well-guarded secret between you and your Commissioner. Why is that so? The question was a popular one this week as a result of the Senate inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance.

Senator Sam Dastyari, Chair of the Senate Economics References Committee, urged the Commissioner to release confidential taxpayer information as part of the Senate inquiry, which the Commissioner refused to do. Treasurer Joe Hockey subsequently issued a media release in support of the Commissioner's decision, citing "maintaining integrity in our tax system" and "the risk of reducing compliance with the system" as reasons for maintaining taxpayer confidentiality.

Coincidentally, this week also marks the closing date for submissions to the ATO's consultation on tax secrecy and transparency. Later this year, the ATO will be publishing certain tax information for the 2013-14 income year in relation to companies with total income of $100m or more (approximately 2,300 entities). The paper asks a series of questions about how the ATO should undertake the reporting of this information. The ATO is compelled to disclose this information by amendments to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 enacted on 29 June 2013.

There are difficult questions in life and whether our tax affairs should be confidential is but one.

The Tax Institute's submission to the Senate Corporate Tax Avoidance inquiry can be found here.

Our submission to the ATO consultation on tax secrecy and transparency should be available on our website shortly. 


Thilini Wickramasuriya FTI is a 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.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The operation of the Div 7A rules – download four free case studies

Download a copy of four free case studies [PDF 0.6 MB] taken from the Division 7A Handbook, 7th edition that illustrate several aspects of the operation of the Div 7A rules and possible implications.

The four case studies from the handbook cover:

  • loan and payment by company
  • payment to trust
  • unpaid present entitlement, and
  • use of company assets.

In addition, the handbook also covers the following case studies:

  • distributable surplus
  • unpaid present entitlement, and
  • unpaid present entitlement created after end of income year.

Download the case studies [PDF 0.6 MB], and purchase your copy of the Division 7A Handbook, 7th editon from our website today.


John Gaal of TaxCounsel is the author of our Division 7A Handbook, 7th edition.

The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading educator and professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.