Tax issues in a global economy - 2016's Queensland Tax Forum

Economies at a state level in Queensland, nationally and globally are in transition. Practitioners have seen huge shifts in the way their clients do business, and many are asking themselves ‘how do I get ahead of the game?’


Over two days at the 2016 Queensland Tax Forum close to 40 expert speakers will attempt to answer that question, looking at the latest issues affecting both SMEs and corporates.

Here we take a look at two sessions covering some common and not-so-common issues that can arise when clients are operating globally. We spoke to two members of the Forum's Organising Committee, Katherine Patel of HLB Mann Judd and Letitia Weatherhead, ATI, of DKM Group about what to expect from the sessions from Greg Travers, CTA, William Buck on ‘Business Tax Considerations in a Global Economy’ as well as Hayley Lock of KPMG and Melissa Rowbottom of Hatch, who outline what to expect in ‘Expatriates and International Assignees – A Tax Guide For An Employer’s First Time’.
Business Tax Considerations in a Global Economy

With growing numbers of SMEs seeking to expand their operations and customer base globally, advisers to SMEs need an awareness of the key issues in structuring, profit repatriation and other compliance matters.

Greg Travers, CTA, William Buck brings his experience in advising on international expansion to bear on the key areas to be addressed when advising our clients on their now cross-border business. Letitia said ‘With a slowing Australian economy, many SMEs are being forced to expand their customer base or operations offshore. Proper structuring, the operation of double tax agreements and profit repatriation back to Australia are some of the issues that they come up against regularly, and will be covered in Greg's session. They’re important in managing the effective tax rate at the Australian owner / shareholder level and ensuring that other unfavourable outcomes are avoided’.

Letitia told us ‘Greg's session will look at an area where most SME advisers won't have a lot of experience, in an area rarely covered by professional development seminars. The aim of the session is not to make the attendee an expert but to give them a greater awareness of all of the things that they need to cover off on. Checklists and a handy ready reckoner table will also be provided which will make great reference materials for SME advisers’.

Greg’s session also looks at the regulatory and compliance issues to be considered when you have a permanent establishment; how double tax agreements work with respect to withholding taxes, foreign tax credit entitlement, franking credits and GST/VAT; ensuring your structure can facilitate cross-border operations; as well as when transfer pricing provisions apply.

Looking at the wider Forum, Letitia told us ‘Over the two days the Forum will cover all of the key taxation and compliance issues which SMEs and family businesses will face when expanding overseas’. She felt ‘SME advisers who are experienced and have or are likely to have in the future clients looking to start up business in another country will benefit from attending. They should gain a high level understanding of all of the issues which need to be addressed by clients looking to expand their operations offshore
’.


Expatriates and International Assignees – A Tax Guide for an Employer’s First Time

In their session, KPMG's Hayley Lock and Melissa Rowbottom of Hatch look at the key tax issues for employers and employees in ensuring SME clients are aware of their obligations in the jurisdiction/s they'll be operating in.

Hayley and Melissa will look at the complexities in ensuring employees are paying the correct individual income tax in the correct jurisdiction; FBT and expatriate employment packages; employer superannuation obligations and bilateral social security agreements as well as reciprocal health care agreements and private health insurance requirements.

Asked about why the issues covered in their session are important, Katherine said ‘While the considerations for doing business in Brisbane with exposure to cross-border considerations are becoming more relevant in SME tax, many practitioners have not had to deal with the issues and whilst they may not be complex, they need to know the key considerations and how to work through them’.

Katherine felt that ‘SME practitioners, partners and managers would benefit most from this session. A lot of key, relevant topics that are an issue in tax for our clients and firms need some practical advice and application’.

2016’s Forum opens with a keynote address from Treasury's Roger Brake, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Revenue Group, who will consider the importance of strategic tax reform and policy development in this time of economic transition.

Following this address, two streams will dive into the latest tax issues: one stream for those advising in the SME market and the other focused on advisers and in-house tax managers and teams in the corporate market. We are also pleased to welcome Kate Carnell, the newly appointed Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman who will address the SME delegates on the scope and powers of the new role.

The 2016 Queensland Tax Forum takes place 18-19 August at the Brisbane Marriott Hotel. Choose from 28 sessions over two days and a range of flexible ticket options with up to 13.5 CPD hours on offer. Find out more.

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