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Showing posts from October, 2015

Innovation and tax, an unlikely pairing?

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Innovation and tax. Do these two things go together or are they a little like oil and water?
Sometime in the next few weeks, the Government will be releasing its statement on innovation. There are clear indications circling that the tax system will have a role to play in influencing, or perhaps even encouraging, innovation in Australia. As we await this statement, no doubt the tax-related content will permeate the broader tax reform discussion.

On Monday this week, Deloitte Access Economics released its second ‘myth busting' report entitled Myth busting tax reform #2: Superannuation, negative gearing and the discount on capital gains, providing insights on the tax issues associated with ‘savings'. For members who are interested, Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics will be speaking at our 2016 Financial Services Taxation Conference on why the Australian economy needs tax reform. You may wish to join us there.

In other news, the Australian Taxation Office has release…

2015 Corporate Tax Adviser of the Year winner: Minh Dao CTA

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I am a tax adviser specialising in infrastructure projects (eg PPP, privatisations and M&A). I have worked with KPMG for over 15 years on some of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects and have undertaken secondments locally and to the UK.

I strive to create a working environment where my staff can perform to the best of their abilities and can be proud to say they work in my team.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

Over 14 years (includes two maternity leave of absence).

What does the Tax Awards mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax profession?

The Tax Award has meant a lot to me. To be publically recognised for the contribution I make to the profession was an honour. Being recognised by the Tax Institute has also broadened by personal profile within the tax community.

What are 5 main tips/tricks that you used for preparing your application?
Communicate with senior leaders in your organisation to ensure they support your nomination.Obtain client refere…

Mulitnational anti-avoidance Bill progresses

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On 19 October, the multinational anti-avoidance ‘law' (the MAAL) passed the House of Representatives. The MAAL is ‘law' because, given the political pressure applied, it is difficult to see any substantive changes being made to the measure.

The Bill containing the MAAL, country-by-country reporting and stronger penalties for significant global entities, is now being considered by the Senate Economics Legislation Committee and our recent submission to that Committee can be found here. Despite the Senate inquiry being on foot, the major political parties appear to have agreed to the passage of the Bill.

The Institute has long called for a multilateral approach on international tax issues. Others have argued that a multilateral approach is too slow. This ‘slowness' is due to the painstaking negotiations between sovereign states that underlie our treaty network. Such discussions are essential to tackling multinational tax avoidance without alienating our major trading partners…

2015 Emerging Tax Star of the Year finalist: Jack Wang

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I am a senior consultant in the Indirect Taxes Team at Pitcher Partners Melbourne. I am a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the University of Melbourne, where I received my Masters degree in Accounting.

After graduating from the University of Melbourne, I started my career with Pitcher Partners where I gained an in depth understanding of GST, Stamp Duty and Fuel Tax Credits.

I specialise in providing high quality tax compliance and advisory services that meet the needs of my clients. Examples of the services I provide include preparation and review of Business Activity Statements, GST reviews and preparation of advices and objections in areas such as GST, Land Tax, Stamp Duty and Fuel Tax Credits. I also deal with the Australian Taxation Office and State Revenue Offices in relation to various client matters on a regular basis.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been an affiliate with The Tax Institute since I joined Pitcher Partners Melbourne in 2008.

How to build your resume while you study

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These days, achieving a high-distinction average or mastering your taxation law units aren’t enough to land the job of your dreams. Recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly looking for candidates who combine academic rigour and industry passion with focus, drive and initiative. If you’re still studying for your degree, there are countless ways to prove to your potential employer that your contribution to their business will go well beyond balancing the books.

Here are four strategies for building your resume while you study – because it's never too early to start making a mark on your career.

Volunteer at a not-for-profit

If you’re a third-year accounting student, you could be a valuable asset to a business that couldn’t otherwise pay for your skills. From under-resourced charities that grapple with financial administration to not-for-profits that could benefit from simple bookkeeping, offering pro-bono services can seriously bolster your resume. It can also show employers t…

Which area of tax is right for you?

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A career in tax can be dynamic, versatile and open up rewarding opportunities both locally and abroad. A multifaceted profession, there are many areas in the industry you can choose to specialise in when you've finished your further tax education.
 But how do you know which is the perfect fit for your natural abilities? Here are four areas you can focus your tax training in, the skills and experience you’ll need to get there and the type of personalities primed to excel in them.

1. SMEs

With the growing number of small-medium businesses in Australia, a business tax specialist will always be in high demand.

As a business tax specialist, you’ll need to be abreast of capital gains implications, the latest GST changes and depreciation schedules, as well as the special exemptions and deductions relevant to each business structure and industry.

Many tax specialists find this work rewarding, as it helps local businesses grow and remain sustainable. Keeping up with the constant federal reg…

OECD releases final BEPS report

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There is nothing like coming back to work after a long weekend and being hit with reams of OECD analysis on BEPS. Released right on schedule in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the BEPS package is comprehensive and historic. This body of work will make a significant contribution to the equity and coherence of our international tax rules and it is important that Australia remains in step with these measures.

There are a great number of recommendations in the package, some of which can now be considered at a domestic level. For example, the OECD's recommendations on Controlled Foreign Company rules have now been released, meaning that reform of these rules at home, which has been on the cards for some time, may now warrant further attention.

The OECD's recommendation on the definition of permanent establishment is not entirely consistent with the approach taken in the Bill that is currently before our parliament. In our view it is vital that this domestic measure is consisten…

23rd National Tax Intensive Retreat speaker profile: Stephanie Caredes

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Stephanie Caredes is Tax Counsel at The Tax Institute. Prior to joining The Tax Institute, Stephanie gained extensive experience in private practice advising on a wide range of federal and state taxation issues. Stephanie holds a Masters level degree in Law from the University of Sydney and is admitted as a Solicitor and Barrister in both the Supreme Court of New South Wales and High Court of Australia. She has also published a variety of articles and commentary in relation to taxation issues.

What is the topic you are presenting at the 23rd Annual Tax Intensive Retreat?

Tax Counsel Update with my colleague Thilini Wickramasuriya, FTI

What can attendees expect to learn from your session?

Attendees will hear all about the policy and advocacy the work gets involved in.

How will attending your sessions help delegates help their clients?

Delegates will be able to get an appreciation of all the tax changes constantly happening in tax law.

What do you like to do when you're not knee deep …

2015 Tax Adviser of the Year Award judge: Arlene Macdonald CTA (Life)

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I started my legal career in a small general legal practice in Adelaide’s CBD and then worked at the ATO in Adelaide for about 2 years including the old Appeals section.  I was promoted to Sydney as a Senior Investigation Officer at the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office (dealing with complaints against the ATO) and 8 years at the Australian Government Solicitor’s Office in the tax section, finally as Principal Solicitor.  I went to the Independent Bar in South Australia in 1996 specialising in tax and acting for both Commissioner and taxpayers in tax disputes and dealing with a wide range of other tax issues. I retired in 2013.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I joined the Tax Institute in 1994

What does the Tax Awards mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax profession?

Tax law is often very difficult to understand and apply.  It is important to be committed to achieving and maintaining excellence in both knowledge and application and in being able to apply the …

OECD's package to reform international tax system

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By the time you read this, we will have heard at least some of the outcomes from the snap ‘reform summit' the Prime Minister hosted yesterday in Canberra, from which we hope there is a clear indication of where the tax reform debate may next head.

For the latest, we have Roger Brake from the Treasury delivering the ‘inside perspective' on the Tax White Paper at our VIC 3rd Annual Tax Forum on 8 and 9 October. The Forum will be rounded out by a panel featuring the new Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP, together with the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP. We encourage members interested in the tax reform debate and a broad range of CPD options to come along – just register here.

This coming Monday, the OECD will release the ‘BEPS package' to reform the international tax system to tackle tax avoidance. What is key here is how Australia responds to the package of recommendations, that is, which recommendation…

2015 Tasmanian State Convention speaker profile: Thilini Wickramasuriya

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Thilini is a Tax Counsel with the Tax Institute.

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

I attended the Tasmanian State Convention last year for the first time and it is a wonderful event not just because it brings together the tax practitioner community in Tasmania but also gives the opportunity for speakers from around Australia to visit Tasmania and contribute to the tax expertise of those practitioners.

What can attendees expect to take away from your session?

An update of the key tax reform issues on the horizon and what TTI is doing about them.

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

Panel discussion on the changing nature of the tax profession.

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

Watch arty films and eat yummy food.


Join us in Hobart for The Tax Institute's 2015 Tasmanian State Convention. It is Tasmania's premier annual taxation event with a…