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Showing posts from August, 2015

Discussing Tax Reform with the Treasurer

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On Monday 24 August 2015, Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey MP discussed tax reform at 'Morning Tea with the Treasurer', a free event for members which we co-hosted with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

The Treasurer's speech argued the case for personal income tax cuts mainly by reference to income tax rates in other OECD countries. Our President, Stephen Healey, tied the discussion back to the tax reform priorities of the Institute.

The key issue for us in this debate is Australia's tax mix and its dependency on income tax for the bulk of revenue collections, particularly given an ever increasing mobility of capital in the modern economy and our country's future revenue needs given the increasing dependency ratio as highlighted in the intergenerational report.

In our Tax Discussion Paper submission we have recommended that the Government consider shifting away from income tax and increasing reliance on simpler and more efficient consumption t…

3rd Annual Tax Forum speaker profile: Paul Abbey

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Paul is a Partner in the International Tax and Transaction Services group of PwC in Melbourne. He has over 20 years’ experience advising local and international clients on income tax issues. Paul drives PwC's Tax Reform project, aimed at building momentum within the community around the need for comprehensive tax reform in Australia.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the Forum?

“The Need for Genuine Tax Reform in Australia”

What can attendees expect to take away from your session?

We need a balanced debate that keeps all issues on the table. The public and indeed participants need to better understand why tax reform is needed. All stakeholders have an obligation to sell that message.


Join us in Melbourne for The Tax Institute's 3rd Annual Tax Forum. It is Tasmania's premier annual taxation event with an outstanding line up of speakers that are sure to educate and stimulate.

2015 Tasmanian State Convention speaker profile: Matthew Cridland

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Matthew Cridland is a Partner in the Tax group of DLA Piper and is based in Sydney. He has advised on GST and other indirect taxes, across all industry sectors, for more than 15 years.  He also assists clients to manage indirect tax audits and disputes. Matthew is a member of the GST committees of the Property Council of Australian and the Retirement Living Council. He is also a Chartered Tax Adviser.

What does 2015 Tasmanian State Convention mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

While I practice law in Sydney, I'm a Graduate of the University of Tasmania. I graduated at the end of 1999 and moved to Sydney shortly thereafter to accept a Graduate position in the GST team at Ernst & Young, about 6 months prior to the commencement of the tax on 1 July 2000. I regularly stay connected with other UTAS graduates. It is a pleasure to be able to return to Hobart some 15 years later to present to the State Convention on GST issues.

What can attendees expect to take-away fro…

Understanding the ESS changes: Five things you need to know

Recently, changes to the tax rules surrounding employee share schemes (ESS) were made, with the intention of making it more attractive for employers and employees to participate in them.

The changes to the ESS rules came into effect from 1 July 2015 and effectively allow potentially longer deferral periods for taxing points. In addition, the changes introduce a new concession for startup companies.

Here are five things you must know about the changes.

1. Changes to the tax treatment of employee share schemes take effect on 1 July 2015

The 2015 changes apply to ESS interests issued on or after 1 July 2015. They apply to shares, stapled securities, rights and options to acquire shares or stapled securities.

2. Additional concessions are available for startup companies

Under the new rules, where shares are issued to employees in a startup company at a discount of up to 15 per cent (relative to market value), the discount is exempt from income tax. The shares will only be subject to capital…

Where can a career in tax take you?

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What do you want from your career? A new challenge every day? The opportunity to travel the world? To make a difference? Financial security? Whatever your reasons, it's important to give the question some genuine thought, especially if you have your eye on working in a competitive field like tax and accounting.

As industry experts at the recent Tax Institute webinar on working as a tax professional revealed, tax is alluring to today's graduates for many reasons. Here we examine several of their suggested benefits of entering the numbers game.

More advice

According to Stephen Holmes, CTA and partner at WMS Chartered Accountants, professional services firms are expanding knowledge so they can provide advisory in addition to tax compliance services.

“You need extra skills to ensure clients stay with you and have confidence in your abilities,” he says. For you, this means more exciting and challenging work, as well as opportunities to develop your potential.

Flexible options

Holmes …

Member profile: Abby Hinchcliffe

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Employer: Thomas Noble & Russell

Position: Intermediate Accountant

As a mature aged student I completed my Bachelor of Business degree majoring in Advanced Accounting in 2013. Shortly after I kick started my career in a medium size private practice firm named Thomas Noble and Russell where I have been working for the last 22 months whilst undertaking my Diploma of Chartered Accounting. Thomas Noble and Russell (TNR) is a longstanding firm with a reputation for providing high quality and detailed service. With a strong focus on in-house training it is the perfect environment for me to develop a solid foundation as a Tax Practitioner.

Describe your current role

With almost 2 year experience in business services I am currently focusing on learning the mainly technical aspects of accounting. My daily activities include the preparation, lodgment and administration of Business Activity Statements, Monthly Payroll Tax Calculations, Instalment Activity Statements, Income Tax Returns, and Fi…

The interim report on corporate tax avoidance

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Late Tuesday afternoon this week, the Senate Economics References Committee released its interim report on ‘corporate tax avoidance'. The report, entitled ‘You cannot tax what you cannot see' contains 17 recommendations drawn from the inquiry, including recommending the Australian government take unilateral action to combat tax avoidance and the introduction of a mandatory tax reporting code.

To put these recommendations in some context, below is a synopsis of the activity already occurring in this space:

Australia is heavily involved in the OECD's work that seeks to address base erosion and profit shifting in a co-ordinated way. The OECD recommendations are due out in the next month or so.Australia has also sought to move unilaterally on this issue with the government intending to introduce the proposed ‘multinational anti-avoidance law' tax integrity measure at some stage in the Spring Parliamentary sitting. Our views on this proposal are contained in our submission t…

Ten estate planning strategies – free from Estate & Business Succession Planning

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View these ten strategies, taken from Estate & Business Succession Planning, 7th edition, covering:
the nuclear family the wealthy nuclear familyproblem childrenthe blended family the blended family and life interestelderly and singlesame-sex couplesdealing with the family trustdealing with public offer superannuation interestdealing with a self-managed superannuation fund.
View these ten strategies online, and purchase your copy of Estate & Business Succession Planning, 7th edition from our website today.

Bernie O’Sullivan, CTA, is Principal of Bernie O’Sullivan Lawyers, an independent law firm that specialises in wealth succession. He advises individuals and their advisers in regard to estate planning, superannuation, family trusts and business succession, and acts in disputes relating to these arrangements. 

Bernie is the author of Estate & Business Succession Planning, now in its seventh edition, and a regular presenter at The Tax Institute’s seminars and conventions.

Dux interview: Shireen Silva, CTA1 Foundations

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What is your background?

I have over 5 years experience within the Schiavello Group as an accountant where I have gained experience in taking care of the accounting function of companies in industries such as constructions, manufacturing and hospitality.

What was the most valuable aspect of CTA1 Foundations?

The subject gave me a great foundation and start to understanding Australian Taxation to assist me in better performing my day to day job.

What areas are you now more confident in?

I gained confidence in understanding trusts and other structures.

What were your reasons for undertaking CTA1 Foundations?

I wanted to become an all-round accountant.

Where to now with continuing education?

I plan on continuing with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law.


Take the next step in your tax career with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law 

Find out more


Our submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission

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The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) recently released an Interim Report into its Inquiry on Traditional Rights and Freedoms—Encroachments by Commonwealth Laws. Taxation laws feature in the report, in no small part due to the Institute's submission which is cited extensively.

In the tax world, we are accustomed to working in a system administered by a Commissioner with extraordinary executive powers which would make many practitioners outside the tax field gasp. These powers encroach on the traditional rights and freedoms of individuals, particularly in the areas of property rights, privilege against self-incrimination and judicial review.

We are also faced with retrospective legislation in areas such as transfer pricing and Part IVA, which are difficult for practitioners to provide clear advice on, even at the best of times. This impacts on the fundamental principle that laws should be capable of being known in advance so that people subject to those laws can exercise choi…

2015 Tasmanian State Convention speaker profile: Brad Eppingstall

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Brad is a Director at the RSM Bird Cameron office in Ballarat. He specialises in providing advice to SMSF members as well as SME’s in the areas of small business concessions and other technical tax matters.

What does 2015 Tasmanian State Convention mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

The convention is a change for practitioners to get together and obtain a better understanding of the issues affecting their practice.

What can attendees expect to take away from your session?

Some practical issues with case studies of what is impacting the SMSF sector at the moment.

Which other sessions at the 2015 Tasmanian State Convention are you most interested in attending?

The sessions related to property development and dealing with inherited problems.

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

I enjoy good food, wine & coffee.  As well as cycling with the aim of heading to France one day to climb some of the big tour climbs.


Join us in Hobart for The Tax Institute'…

The decision on digital currency

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In October 2014, the Senate commissioned its Economics References Committee to undertake a review of digital currency and focus in particular on developing an effective regulatory regime for digital currency in Australia. Earlier this week, the Committee issued its report following its review.

The potential issues arising from digital currency are far-reaching and touch everything from the most obvious, Australia's banking system, to perhaps the less obvious, Australia's tax system. The particular tax system issues of note are whether a digital currency, the most well-known of these being Bitcoin, is in fact ‘money', or something else, for the purpose of income tax, GST, fringe benefits tax and capital gains tax.

The Tax Institute lodged a submission with the Senate Committee in December 2014 arguing that digital currency should be treated as currency/money for tax purposes.

The Committee has concluded that digital currency should be treated as ‘money' for GST purposes…

Member profile: Julien Wong

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Employer: GFA Accountants & Business Advisers

Position: Senior Accountant

I moved from Mauritius to Perth in 2007 to undertake my Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance at Curtin University. Straight after my university degree I went on to complete a post graduate diploma in Chartered Accounting which I completed in November 2012. More recently I completed the Chartered Tax Adviser Program in November 2014. I recently joined the team at GFA accountants & business advisers moving from Grant Thornton.

Describe your current role

A typical day in my role would involve, client meetings, preparation of financial statements and tax returns, tax research and advice and so on.

Working in a small tight knit environment at GFA accountants & business advisers enables me to work with colleagues with definite skill sets. In so doing, I gain exposure and experience in areas such as superannuation, audit and financial planning.

Describe your involvement in The Tax Institute’…

Now available: Tax Risk Management and Governance Review Guide.

The ATO has just launched the Tax Risk Management and Governance Review Guide.
The guide was developed in consultation with The Tax Institute, Tier 1 advisory firms, the Law Council, and members of the Corporate Tax Association, to allow businesses to self-evaluate their governance framework and strategic and operational tax risks.
The guide has been developed primarily for large corporations, and other corporations will have to think carefully about how they tailor and apply the extensive guide to manage their own tax risks and internal controls.
The guide is based on what the ATO believes are corporate tax governance 'better practices' and will assist businesses to: develop their own tax governance frameworktest the robustness of the design of their framework against the ATO’s benchmarksunderstand how businesses can demonstrate the operating effectiveness of their internal controls to their stakeholders.
Find out more about the Guide here.
For those with an interest in Tax Risk Go…

Where can a career in tax take you?

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What do you want from your career? A new challenge every day? The opportunity to travel the world? To make a difference? Financial security? Whatever your reasons, it's important to give the question some genuine thought, especially if you have your eye on working in a competitive field like tax and accounting.

As industry experts at the recent Tax Institute webinar on working as a tax professional revealed, tax is alluring to today's graduates for many reasons. Here we examine several of their suggested benefits of entering the numbers game.

More advice

According to Stephen Holmes, CTA and partner at WMS Chartered Accountants, professional services firms are expanding knowledge so they can provide advisory in addition to tax compliance services.

“You need extra skills to ensure clients stay with you and have confidence in your abilities,” he says. For you, this means more exciting and challenging work, as well as opportunities to develop your potential.

Flexible options

Holmes …